Public Citizen and ProtectOurElections.org have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Committee. The lawsuit demands the FEC to act against Tea Party super-PAC Crossroads GPS in order to force disclosure of their secret donors, reported Crooks and Liars.
According to the lawsuit, Crossroads GPS violated election laws and “the principles of disclosure” as noted in Citizens United. The groups that filed the suit questions the definition of “direct political activity.” Organizations that have filed under the 501c4 tax code are required, by law, to limit “direct political activity” to less than 51 percent of their total spending. However, political “advocacy” has no set limits.
Crooks and Liars indicated how Crossroads GPS blurs the line between “advocacy” and “direct political activity,” if not completely crossing it.
The lawsuit was inspired by FEC Vice Chairperson Ann Ravel. She wrote a scathing op-ed in the New York Times criticizing how the GOP came to the rescue of Karl Rove and his donors.
“This has serious consequences,” wrote Ravel. “If the courts continue to defer to the FEC’s inaction, groups like Crossroads GPS will continue to operate with impunity. Money from anonymous donors will continue to pour into elections. And voters will again be barraged with political advertising from unknown sources, making it difficult for them to make informed decision. If we continue on this path, we will be betraying the public and putting out democracy in jeopardy.”
Ravel is exactly right. If the super PACS like Crossroads, among others, remain unchecked, then American politics will sink itself into an inescapable money pit where neither its influence nor autonomy will ever get out. Citizens United drastically damaged any chances of politicians holding on to any integrity. The unchecked ability to buy elections will further put American politics into the pockets of the wealthy few.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.