Watchdog Groups Call For Appointment of A Special Prosecutor to Investigate the Use of Secret Money to Influence Elections

Comparisons To Watergate Scandal Grows

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, several watchdog groups, led by Protect Our Elections, dedicated to clean and  transparent elections sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder  requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the improper use of tax exempt provisions to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the 2010 midterm elections.  The letter, written by Kevin Zeese, the groups' attorney and spokesman, states that groups such as  American Crossroads, American Future Fund, the Chamber of Commerce and others are violating tax law, campaign finance law and criminal law by creating tax exempt organizations to engage in partisan political activity without restriction or accountability.

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The Guardian: Tea Party climate change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters

October 24, 2010: BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.

An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.

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Washington Post Article Mentions POE’s FEC Filing Against American Crossroads

…"On Wednesday, for example, the watchdog groups Public Citizen and Protect Our Elections filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the pro-Republican organization Crossroads GPS is violating federal campaign finance laws by claiming to be a nonprofit group rather than a political committee. A similar complaint was filed with the IRS earlier this month against Crossroads GPS, which was founded with the help of GOP political guru Karl Rove and is one of the leading spenders this year."…


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NBC: Micheal Isikoff Predicts $250M For American Crossroads

October 21 2010- On NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Michael Isikoff predicted that Karl Rove's Americian Crossroads PAC would raise $250 Million- mostly from wealthy, anonymous donors- in this election cycle. This is far beyond the earlier predicted figure of $75 Million. In this clip, Isikoff explains the connection between the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and the flood of money pouring into this election through special interest groups:

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For Immediate Release:                                  Contact:Angela Bradbery, Public Citizen, (202) 588-7741

Oct. 20, 2010                                                                           Kevin Zeese, Protect Our Elections, (301) 996-6582


Watchdogs to FEC: American Future Fund Appears to Be

 Violating Campaign Finance Law


Conservative Organization Appears to Operate As a Political Committee But Is Registered As Nonprofit, Say Groups


WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit group pouring money into the 2010 midterm elections, appears to be violating campaign finance law, watchdog groups said in a complaint filed today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

 The FEC should investigate whether American Future Fund must register as a political committee for its huge expenditures in the election, making the group subject to recordkeeping, reporting and disclosure requirements, Public Citizen, Protect Our Elections and the Center for Media and Democracy said in the complaint, available at

 The group is registered as a 501(c)(4) organization, which under IRS tax code cannot have a primary purpose of influencing elections. Similarly, federal election law provides that if a group’s major purpose is electioneering and it spends at least $1,000 to influence elections, it must register as a political committee. American Future Fund’s major activity appears to be its extensive electioneering activities, the watchdogs argue.



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WashPo: Felon voting rights expanded in 23 states

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 19, 2010; 1:37 PM

A study of felony disenfranchisement laws has found that 800,000 former felons have been returned to the voter rolls in the past decade.

A push by criminal justice advocates and civil rights groups to rewrite state laws that sometimes place lifetime voting bans on felons has resulted in 23 states amending their policies since 1997 to expand voter eligibility, according to a report out by the Sentencing Project.

Nine states repealed or reduced their lifetime voting bans, and eight states made it easier for former felons to appeal to have their voting rights restored.

Those changes were made despite "political challenges that hinder reform and can make it difficult for elected officials to extend civil rights to persons with felony convictions," said Nicole Porter, author of the report and the Sentencing Project's state advocacy coordinator.

Existing policies vary from state to state, with Kentucky and Virginia denying ex-felons the right to vote – even after they have completed parole or probation sentences. Both states require individuals to apply to the governor for restoration of civil rights.

Read Rest of Article Here

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Protect Our Elections and Other groups File Complaint With DOJ

Watchdog Groups Ask Department of Justice to Use Criminal Statutes to Stop Crossroads GPS and American Future Fund From Violating Campaign Finance Laws

DOJ Has Statutory Obligation To Step In And Enjoin Use Of Tax Exempt Non Profits To Launder Secret Money And Manipulate Elections

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday, several watchdog groups dedicated to clean and honest elections sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting that it immediately employ the criminal sanctions provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) to enjoin, investigate and prosecute Crossroads GPS and the American Future Fund for their "knowing and willful" violation of various provisions of the Act, such as failing to register as a political committee, failing to file political committee financial disclosure reports and failing to comply with the political committee organizational requirements.

"The conventional wisdom around Washington is that campaign finance violations can only be reviewed and adjudicated by the FEC using civil sanctions," said Kevin Zeese, attorney and spokesman for the watchdog groups. "This is wrong. Specifically, FECA provides for criminal sanctions, enforced by the Department of Justice, in the case of 'knowing and willful' violations of FECA that exceed specified monetary thresholds. See 2 U.S.C. section 437g(d). In the DOJ's own handbook on elections, it takes the position that 'in view of the enhanced criminal penalties for FECA crimes and the legislative history supporting their enactment, … all knowing and willful FECA violations should be considered for federal prosecution under one or more of the prosecutive theories….'"

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