In an effort to fight a new, illegal tactic used by super PACs and wealthy donors to circumvent campaign finance law, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the Marco Rubio-backing Conservative Solutions PAC, the Steven Fulop-backing Coalition for Progress, as well as a pair of sham companies used to launder donations to the super PACs. The complaints also targeted the donors who attempted to hide their identities.
On October 26, 2015, Conservative Solutions PAC, which supports presidential candidate Marco Rubio, accepted a $500,000 donation from IGX LLC, a company with no known business activity whose CEO Andrew Duncan later admitted that he was the source of the donation and used IGX to hide that fact, an apparent violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). If Conservative Solutions PAC knew that the donation came from Duncan, it also likely violated FECA.
“Super PACs are allowed to accept and spend an unlimited amount of money, and all they have to do is say where that money came from,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “Without this kind of disclosure, voters don’t have the information they need in order to know and evaluate who is giving huge sums of money to candidates for important offices.”
In a similar case, CREW also filed a complaint against DE First Holdings, which gave a $1,000,000 contribution to the super PAC Coalition for Progress, a New Jersey-based group reported to be supporting Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. DE First Holdings was formed the day before making the donation; as it, like IGX LLC, has no known business activity, it is virtually impossible for that million dollars to have come from the company and not a hidden donor.
“If the FEC fails to act here, we may find ourselves in dangerous territory,” Bookbinder added. “It would be open season for illegal donations to be funneled through bogus companies to get around election law.”
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