Blog — Supreme Court
If you’ve been following CREW’s work over the last year, then you already know we’ve been vigilant about holding shadowy dark money groups accountable. Recent news reports, however, have shined a spotlight on blatantly illegal behavior by one group working overtime to undermine laws aimed at keeping big money out of politics.
The group, American Tradition Partnership (ATP) – formerly named Western Tradition Partnership – appears to have lied to the IRS when it applied for non-profit, tax-exempt status by claiming it would not try to influence elections. In fact, a Montana agency that monitors campaign practices found ATP’s purpose is “to directly influence candidate elections through surreptitious means.” The U.S. Justice Department must investigate whether ATP broke the law by lying to the IRS.
ATP may best be remembered as the group that sued the state of Montana to kill the state’s century-old Corrupt Practices Act, which barred corporate spending on elections there, extending the twisted logic of the disastrous Citizens United case to invalidate Montana’s law. Montana bravely fought back, but the Supreme Court sided with ATP, and refused even to hear the state’s arguments before throwing out its law.
Now, there is even more to the story.
Last night, Marketplace and Frontline reported on documents found in a meth house (yes, you read that right) suggesting that ATP broke another law by illegally coordinating its work with various candidates’ campaigns for public office.
It’s increasingly clear that ATP has been operating with no regard for campaign finance and tax laws, even as it exploits a law allowing it to keep its donors’ identities secret.
We can’t let ATP get away with this rampant corruption. We hope you’ll help us fight back.
More Blog Posts
Our Senior Counsel, Adam Rappaport, appeared on WNYC to discuss how "social welfare" nonprofit groups, known as 501(c)(4)s are avoid regulation to finance the campaigns. Read More ›
October 9, 2012 | 501c Groups, Campaign Finance Reform, Elections, Federal Agencies, Federal Election Commission (FEC), Governance & Legislation, Citizens United, Super PACs, Supreme Court, Citizens United decision, Transparency
After another failed attempt to pass the DISCLOSE Act, a consensus has emerged for a constitutional response to Citizens United. Read More ›
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, summarily reversed the Montana State Supreme Court decision upholding the state's prohibition on corporate political expenditures. Read More ›
CREW and others joined in asking the Supreme Court to deny review of a Montana State Supreme Court decision upholding the state's prohibition on corporate political expenditures.
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Super PACs are thriving in the post-Citizens United world, but they're not all out to thwart hapless disclosure laws and influence our elections. Read More ›
CREW strongly supports television coverage of all open sessions of the Court.
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