The Obama campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission yesterday, arguing that Crossroads GPS, the secret front group founded by Karl Rove, should be required under the law to reveal who its donors are.
As the Washington Post reports:
In a letter to Crossroads—and a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission—the president’s lawyer, Robert F. Bauer, demanded that Crossroads divulge its donors because it is a political committee and not, as it calls itself, a “social welfare” organization.
The demands, first reported by the New York Times, stem from a federal appeals court decision last week that upheld an FEC rule calling for case-by-case analysis of whether groups must disclose.
“Under the pretense of charitable activities, Crossroads has tried to shield its donors—wealthy individuals and corporations who may be pursuing special interest agendas that are not in the national interest,” Bauer wrote in the FEC complaint. “Complaints about this scheme to achieve anonymity are pending before this agency and before the Internal Revenue Service, but Crossroads seems to believe that it can run out the clock and spend massive sums of money in this election without accounting for a trace of its funding.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit groups such as Crossroads GPS have run millions of dollars worth of ads without disclosing donors.
Campaign Manager Jim Messina sent an email last night, explaining the implications of the court’s decision and asking supporters to demand that groups, like Crossroads, make their donors public.