“Secret spenders face challenge in 2016”

Teddy Schleifer for CNN:

Secret money groups will have to work harder this year to keep their spending hidden.

That’s because of a legal complication that is sending some Republican operatives back to the drawing board this cycle: Since Hillary Clinton is not a current federal officeholder — like Obama was in 2012 or Clinton was until she left his administration in 2013 — the nonprofit groups need to find more oblique ways to spend the money that they aren’t allowed to dedicate to full-throttle attacks.

If Clinton were a current official, Republican groups could argue that these ads were merely debating the issues, allowing them to maintain their tax-exempt status while nevertheless dedicating nearly their entire media budgets to ads that slice and dice the Democratic hopeful.

Now, they’ll have to get creative.

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