Democrats Aim to Curb GOP Donors

By Elizabeth Williamson |

Democrats and their allies are broadening their attacks on campaign spending by pro-Republican groups, hoping to force the disclosure of donors’ identities and curtail a lucrative source of financing for their rivals.

Liberal activist group and nonprofit groups Public Citizen and Public Campaign plan to press media outlets that run campaign advertising to question whether the cash used for the ad buys is legal for that purpose.

The groups are also asking the U.S. Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service to investigate the pro-Republican groups and the sources of their ad spending.

“We’re going to keep hounding every group we can, filing complaints with the IRS, using every avenue we can to keep the spotlight on them, and hopefully someone’s going to come forward” and name donors, says Public Citizen chief lobbyist Craig Holman.

Honing a campaign message, President Barack Obama and Democratic Party officials have in recent days strongly suggested the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups, including two run by Republican strategist Karl Rove, are illegally using money from foreign nationals or companies to fund U.S. political advertising.

The groups have repeatedly denied the charges.

The line of attack is prompting some Washington strategists to tell foreign-owned corporations to stay clear of the Nov. 2 midterm elections. It is legal for U.S. units of an overseas corporations to make independent campaign expenditures, as long as all decisions on its spending is made by U.S. citizens. Read Full Story Here

Rewind Back to June 2010

House Passes Campaign Finance Disclose Act

The bill includes a provision to exempt large organizations like the NRA

The House passed campaign finance legislation known as the Disclose Act Thursday, despite controversy last week over the bill’s exempting some large organizations like the National Rifle Association. [See who gets the most from gun rights groups.]

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After a January Supreme Court decision allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money sponsoring campaign ads, Democrats crafted legislation in both chambers that would require stricter methods of campaign finance disclosure.

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