Th Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen on Thursday announced plans to file a suit against the Federal Election Commission for its dismissal of a complaint against Crossroads GPS.
The original complaint against Karl Rove’s super PAC stemmed from the group’s failure to register as a political committee and disclose its donors despite spending massive amounts on political advertising in the 2010 election cycle.
“The rationale of the Republican bloc of commissioners is tortured and obstructionist,” said Craig Holman, co-signer of the complaint in a statement released on Thursday. “They refused to follow the FEC’s own policies in determining political committee status.”
Public Citizen, ProtextOurDemocracy.org, and other watchdog groups filed a complaint with the FEC in October 2010 alleging that Crossroads GPS’ spending made it a political committee that it must disclose its donors according to federal campaign finance laws.
But the six-member panel of commissioners deadlocked on an agreement over whether to pursue further investigation, with Democratic commissioners voting there was enough evidence to proceed and Republican commissioners voting against further investigation.
According to the statement, the new lawsuit will argue that the FEC’s dismissal of the case was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to the law.
“Despite the Supreme Court’s assurances in Citizens United that voters would have full disclosure by groups like Crossroads GPS, the group has spent nearly $100 million on election ads since 2010 without disclosing its donors,” said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. “A ruling by the FEC that Crossroads GPS is a political committee would result in this disclosure for past and future elections.”
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