Bloomberg has a great report out today on the influx of cash from secret donors into U.S. elections and the lack of action from the Federal Election Commission.
The report revealed at least $4.05 million in campaign spending by five Republican-leaning groups in the lead up to the November 2010 election — none of which was recorded by the FEC, in an apparent violation of federal law. One of the groups, the “Commission on Hope,” spent at least $2.10 million on ads against 11 Democrats in seven states in the 60 days prior to the election, according to estimates by Campaign Media. Ten of those Democrats lost.
But what really stood out was a comment from Republican FEC Commissioner Donald McGahn, who basically said that campaign reform advocates had wasted their lives.
“I feel bad for” the reform groups that call the agency dysfunctional, he said. “Much of their life’s work has been rendered irrelevant by a series of stinging court cases.”
Responding to McGahn’s comments, Fred Wertheimer of the group Democracy 21 said that campaign finance supporters “work to protect the health and integrity of our democracy and to protect against the corruption of government decisions and the officeholders who make them.”
“If Mr. McGahn, a former Washington political operative and an opponent of campaign finance laws, wants to see that as a waste of time, that’s his problem not mine,” Wertheimer told TPM in a statement.
Bloomberg’s report also found another group called “Water for All” ran ads on Spanish stations showing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) with a red circle and a line running through her, but didn’t report its campaign expenditures because their lawyer said the ads weren’t political in nature.
Be sure to check out Bloomberg’s full report.