Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Revelations Show that Citizens United Decision is Unenforceable and Should be Discarded

What's wrong with a little deception? She could be a beautiful young woman at the bar or somebody's grandpa.

More coordination between political candidates' campaign staff and groups that want you to believe they're covered by Citizens United (and therefore are not required to expose their donors) have appeared.

The whole premise of Citizens United was that there would be no coordination so donor exposure wasn't needed.

But both earlier and this week, coordination that is hidden in plain sight has been exposed creating a visible rift in compliance.

Earlier this year  it was revealed that campaigns were posting what is called b roll footage of candidates, mostly admiring scenes of the candidates with little to no words, on YouTube.  In many cases outside "non-coordinating" groups would then pick up the video and use it in part in supposedly uncoordinated ads.

Since the FEC has 6 members who split evenly on whether the practice represents coordination it hasn't been credited with a decision and the practice continues (though thinking of turtle faced Mitch McConnell trying to look smooth and intelligent under any lighting and from whatever angle is almost worth the outrage).

So there we have campaigns passing material to supposedly non coordinating groups and what do they get back?

According to CNN:
Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.

The Twitter accounts were hidden in plain sight. The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities.
 And later:
At least two outside groups and a Republican campaign committee had access to the information posted to the accounts, according to the source. They include American Crossroads, the super PAC founded by Karl Rove; American Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy group, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the campaign arm for the House GOP.

The accounts were deleted minutes after CNN started asking questions of RNCC staff. Luckily they saved evidence, and went bold. Read the report linked above under CNN for details.

This shows that the government cannot trust political groups to refuse a coordination with political parties or campaigns and that invalidates Citizen's United Raison d'etre.

Will anyone pay attention?

Image above clipped using Windows Snipping Tool and used via Creative Commons Attribution (CC by 2.0) thanks to Flickr user 2 Top

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