The New York Times offers this important report, which begins: “A new series of political advertisements on behalf of an embattled Nebraska senator could open the door to a flood of similar ads financed by outside groups and even businesses working directly with political candidates — a sharp departure from past practice.”
If you want to know why I referenced a skunk in my quote to the Times in this article, watch this Ben Nelson ad entitled “Skunk” for the skunk reference at the end.
On the question of the legality of the question, I’d point readers to documents in an FEC dispute involving Jeff Merkley in Oregon, MUR 6037, particularly this general counsel report. The FEC deadlocked on this case.
And these types of coordinated “issue” ads are an entirely predictable consequence of the current regime; Fred Wertheimer predicted them last year after viewing the FEC’s revised coordination rules.