CREW Files FEC Complaint Against ccAdvertising
Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against ccAdvertising, Gabriel S. Joseph III, and Americans in Contact Political Action Committee (AICPAC) regarding unsolicited, anonymous text messages sent at the end of October 2012 expressly advocating the defeat of President Barack Obama.
The texts read: “The Obama administration perpetuated misinformation about Libya. Vote against Obama!” and “Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. Say No to Obama on Nov 6!” Both originated from domains registered to Mr. Joseph, the CEO of ccAdvertising and treasurer of AICPAC. While Mr. Joseph initially claimed a client of ccAdvertising had ordered and paid for the text messages, in fact, he had done so himself on behalf of AICPAC.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “ccAdvertising and AICPAC are one and the same. AICPAC isn’t, as it claims, a PAC designed to fund political campaigns; it is a sham PAC that does little more than funnel money into ccAdvertising’s coffers and Gabriel Joseph’s pockets.”
Since its formation in 2008, AICPAC has paid ccAdvertising almost $500,000, but has contributed less than $44,000 to federal and state candidates. Further, Mr. Joseph has gone to great lengths to hide the fact that AICPAC and ccAdvertising are related. For example, AICPAC claims to pay rent to HQ Global Workplaces, but in reality appears to be paying only for telephone answering and forwarding services.
Campaign finance law required ccAdvertising to register AICPAC as a separate segregated fund, and raise money only from employees and shareholders of ccAdvertising. Instead, it was registered as a nonconnected committee and illegally raised money from the general public for more than five years. In addition, the text messages should have contained a disclaimer indicating who had paid for the messages.
Sloan continued, “ccAdvertising duped people into contributing money to a political committee they thought would support specific candidates. It was nothing but a scam. To protect Americans from swindles like this, the FEC should investigate promptly and seek a penalty equal to all the money AICPAC has raised since its inception.”