Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an article about a 29-page complaint filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. The charges are against Catalist, a Washington, D.C.-based firm.
The article reports:
Catalist, the Washington, D.C.-based firm at the heart of the allegations, was accused of “providing candidates and federal party committees data and list-related products and services at below-market rates, constituting excessive, source-prohibited, and unreported in-kind contributions” to the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Also named in the complaint were nearly 400 Democratic campaign committees, including Obama for America, the re-election committee for DNC national chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the re-election committee for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Additionally, the complaint charged that Catalist engaged “in an illegal coordination scheme where the common vendors use their specific products and services to exchange their campaigns and parties data with soft-money groups making independent expenditures.”
The nonprofit watchdog further charged that Catalist was “established, financed, maintained and/or controlled by the Democratic National Committee.” The complaint was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay.
Follow the link above to the Washington Examiner to read the entire complaint–it is included in the article.
The article states:
Former U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker, who heads the nonprofit watchdog, estimated that Catalist and the other committees and allied groups named in the complaint spent more than $100 million in illegally coordinated and unreported campaign contributions in 2014.
On February 18, 2015, opensecrets.org reported the following:
The final figures are in: The 2014 election was the most expensive midterm election in history, costing a grand total of $3.77 billion. But for the first time since 1990, fewer Americans donated money in this midterm election than the one before. Simply put, more money went into the system, but fewer people provided it.
…Even when it came to outside spending groups, there were fewer donors. In 2010, there were 57,405 individual donors to outside spending groups (including 527s) who gave a total of $104.6 million, or roughly $1,800 apiece. In 2014, there were 53,725 donors to outside groups, whose average donation was $8,011. That’s an increase in the size of the average donation of almost 445 percent.
We are not going to be able to take the money out of elections. What we can do is make sure that all donations are transparent and all sources and amounts of money known.