The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a formal complaint Monday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after the super PAC (Political Action Committee), Highway 31, allegedly engaged in unscrupulous and illicit behavior during the Alabama Senate race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones.
The complaint alleges the super PAC intentionally and willfully withheld information about its funding sources from the public, potentially to create the illusion that the money was garnered from local sources. It turns out that big names such as Senator Chuck Schumer and George Soros were the source of a lot of the money.
Highway 31 spent $4.4 million between November 6, and December 12 on advertisements and other supporting elements for Democrat Doug Jones’ campaign. Highway 31 began their spending spree on Jones only a month before the election was to take place and dissolved shortly thereafter.
Highway 31 was named after United States Route 31 that runs from southern Alabama to northern Michigan. In Alabama, the road runs almost in the center of the state with a slight curve west in the south.
It is suspected that they used the name as a way to indicate the super PAC was a local grassroots effort even though all of their vendors were out of state.
When Highway 31 filed their first disclosure of expenditures and donors with the FEC, they reported nothing. Highway 31 listed no donors, received no cash, and spent no money.
Highway 31 exploited a loophole in the system by claiming their entire operation was being run on lines of credit. The only thing that the report included was Democratic campaign vendors. These vendors created advertisements and bought airtime for them to play at the behest of Highway 31, but did so entirely on credit.
This allowed them to keep their funding sources under wraps until after the election when they would file an amended FEC report. The amended report would then include who wrote off or paid the debt for Highway 31. The amended report would not be made public until January after the December election.
Two Democrat campaign consultancy groups, Bully Pulpit Interactive and Waterfront Strategies were the primary groups Highway 31 was indebted to.
The amended report revealed that Highway 31 had good reason to obscure its major contributors’ identity from the public. Senator Chuck Schumer has major ties with the Senate Majority PAC which contributed $3.2 million to Highway 31.
The Senate Majority Super PAC is primarily funded by a group of liberal, leftist, billionaires, George Soros being one who fed $1 million into their efforts.
The CLC alleges that Highway 31 used a campaign finance loophole, effectively gaming the system in a way which allowed them to skirt Federal election laws which require reporting of donors. As evidence of this, CLC attorney Brendan Fischer notes the fact that a newly created Super PAC that had not raised a shred of funding was granted millions in credit by two Washington D.C. based vendors.
This enormous line of credit indicates the debt was secured by donors before “repayment” and the entire operation was a ruse to keep the public in the dark with regard to who was dumping $millions in order to influence an election.
Voters may not have turned out to vote for Jones if the public was informed that his primary campaign operation in the final months was being funded not by a local grassroots effort, but by a handful of liberal billionaires living outside of Alabama.
Ironically, although Senator Jones’ election was bought by a handful of billionaire liberals, Jones’ website reads, “we are all tired of politicians who have been bought and paid for by special interest.”
This deception in campaign funding is nothing new to politics. Untraceable political campaign funds are often referred to as dark money, and until there is campaign finance regulation reform it will remain a powerful tool used by the elite to effectively purchase elections.
The complaint is asking the FEC to “seek appropriate sanctions for any and all violations, including civil penalties sufficient to deter future violations and an injunction prohibiting the respondents from any and all violations in the future.”
The lawsuit officially names Edward Still because in his role as the official treasurer of Highway 31, Still failed to report funding appropriately and oversaw the scam perpetrated by Democrats intended to obscure funding sources for their nominee.
The outcome of this filing could potentially deter or encourage super PACs from engaging in the unscrupulous practice of bringing in dark money from tainted sources, who may pressure politicians to advocate for causes that serve their self-interest at the expense of the interests of the United States.