CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org Urges DOJ To Stop Millions In Secret Money from Undermining Integrity of Election
Sends Letters to 40 US Attorneys Urging Prosecution of Violations
WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Karl Rove is at it again and a new coalition has launched to hold Rove and his colleagues accountable in the upcoming election.
CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org, a new coalition of dozens of fair election non-profit organizations and advocates, is fighting back against Mr. Rove and others, such as the Chamber of Commerce and American Future Fund, to make sure that they do not violate campaign finance law in the upcoming election as they have done in the past.
Just last month Rove announced that his American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS groups are planning to spend $120 million in the 2012 electoral cycle to ensure more conservatives are elected to Congress and President Obama is defeated.
CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org has sent letters to 40 U.S. Attorneys along with more than 12 thousand signatures of citizens urging prosecution of these organizations for illegally using non-profit front groups to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) during the 2010 elections. None have been prosecuted for their violations to date.
The Campaign is also urging citizens to write and call their own U.S. Attorneys demanding enforcement of the law.
Attorney and campaign spokesman Kevin Zeese said, "Over the past few months, we have seen the absolutely devastating effects of unlimited, secret money drowning out the voices and votes of hard working Americans. Campaign Accountability Watch will let U.S. Attorneys in over 40 districts know that their constituents want them to empanel grand juries and prosecute FECA violators. These violators may think that they can hide their donors and their books while doing the bidding of corporate barons but they cannot hide them from criminal investigations."
Several groups, including Crossroads GPS and American Future Fund, improperly used 501(c)(4) organizations to raise tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed money for political purposes when this type of fundraising is only allowed under section 527 of the federal election laws, which requires disclosure of donors. This not only violates FECA but IRS regulations as well.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been deadlocked for years and cannot make any decisions to enforce FECA. Several of the advocacy organizations involved in the new campaign filed an FEC complaint last October that is still without resolution.
FECA gives jurisdiction to the FEC to impose civil sanctions and to the DOJ to impose criminal sanctions to enforce the law. CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org has been talking and meeting with specialists at the FBI on how to use criminal provisions of FECA to prosecute these FECA wrongdoers. The campaign has also filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service.
U.S. Attorneys in every state targeted by these groups in 2010 have jurisdiction to prosecute the groups criminally for violating the FECA. Citizens have already filed complaints in many of these states, including California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio.
Zeese also warned donors saying, "Any donor who is considering making a secret donation to one of these FECA violators should be fully aware that they run the risk of being called before a federal grand jury and even prosecuted if it can be shown that they made a donation willfully and knowingly to avoid campaign finance laws. It just takes one U.S. Attorney to issue subpoenas to these violators for Americans to better understand the need to comply with existing campaign finance laws."
Just last week, Congressman Chris Van Hollen sued the FEC for failing to follow the law regarding disclosure of donations to these (c)(4) groups, and President Obama prepared an executive order requiring companies doing business with the federal government to reveal any donations of more than $5,000.
CampaignAccountabilityWatch.org is asking citizens to:
1. Sign its letter to the DOJ demanding prosecution.
2. Sign its letter to Congress demanding investigation into these violators.
3. Send a prepared letter to your local US Attorney demanding prosecution.
4. Call your local U.S. Attorney and tell them that you want the violators prosecuted.
5. Ask other organizations, unions, and citizens to organize and meet with your local U.S. Attorney to demand prosecution.