Skip to comments.FEC: Club for Growth Permitted to Contact Specter Donors
Posted on 08/27/2009 3:00:49 PM PDT by feralcat
Washington - The Federal Election Commission voted today to allow the Club for Growth to contact thousands of contributors to Senator Arlen Specter's campaign about his policy of providing refunds to those who supported his reelection before he switched parties from Republican to Democrat in April.
"The Commission's decision is good news for thousands of Americans who contributed to Specter's campaign to elect a Republican, not to strengthen Harry Reid's Democratic majority," said Club Executive Director David Keating. "We look forward to helping Senator Specter make good on his commitment."
(Excerpt) Read more at clubforgrowth.org ...
I guess there are some truly "partisan" Republicans who never look past the party label and they might want their money returned.
I would say the vast majority of them want their money back and had complained to Club for Growth which is right there in PA. :)
More on the FEC Opinion on Our Specter Refund Request
David Keating (http://www.clubforgrowth.org/)
I attended the FEC meeting today when the Commission considered our advisory opinion request, so I got to hear the comments by the various commissioners. I was there also to answer questions from the commissioners under a new procedure now in place at the FEC. There were no questions.
We are grateful that the FEC approved our request, and I think that the opinion they ultimately adopted (pdf) improved on another earlier draft that also agreed to our request.
I must admit to disappointment in the two commissioners who voted no on the request because, based on the law, this was an easy question. While I understand and respect their concerns, it does not justify their vote.
They seem to have the opinion that no one should ever contact any donor at any time because donors don’t want to get additional mail. That is a fine opinion, but it’s not what the law states. The law says donor “information copied from such [FEC] reports or statements may not be sold or used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for commercial purposes.” We stated clearly that we would not use the information “soliciting contributions or for commercial purposes.”
If they are concerned the law would open up donors to an avalanche of mail, it is a misplaced concern.
First, donors are already snowed under by mail. As nearly any donor can tell you, once you give to one candidate, the candidates themselves repeatedly bombard you with additional requests. Then in many cases they loan, sell, exchange, give or rent your name to other candidates, committees and their political party.
Second, today’s opinion is not likely to generate a lot of mail from others who will use it as guidance. Sending out such a letter is pretty expensive and will generate no money since solicitations are banned. Given the expense, very few letters like this will ever be sent.
If they are concerned the law leaves a loophole for groups to bury FEC reported donors in mail, then these commissioners should inform Congress of the issue and concern. If Congress agrees, then they can pass a new law. (I would not support such a law because of First Amendment issues.) It is not the role of the Commission to rewrite the law through denying advisory opinion requests, which chill speech. In fact we asked for this opinion because the FEC recently has not spoken logically and consistently about this law.
My final observation is that it shows the FEC could use more expertise from people who have worked on campaigns. They have plenty of competent lawyers, but I get the impression few have any knowledge of how campaigns are run. Too often it seems to me that the Commission worries too much about theoretical concerns without the insight that campaign experience might provide.
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