By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The political groups that injected millions of dollars into political races over the past two years may already be giving way to the rise of a new class of politically oriented nonprofits, organizations that have most of the same powers as super PACs, and one major advantage: They don't have to meet the same strict requirements for disclosing where their money comes from.
With charisma and national name recognition but no imminent political prospects, onetime Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain is using the donor-fueled political action committee created in his name in unusual ways.
As the presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich persevered despite no realistic prospect of victory, the former House speaker spent lavishly on the trappings of a more-successful, high-profile campaign, spending more on travel and security in March than Mitt Romney did, records show.
Despite sentiment that court rulings in 2010 gave rise to revolutionized super PAC campaign financing, three-quarters of the $86 million in ads this election cycle could have been purchased under a little-noticed, decades-old law.
Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign has received a second warning from the Federal Election Commission for widespread financial irregularities, saying it must disclose why nearly $1 million was paid to Gingrich, the staff and a small group of fundraising consultants for questionable reimbursements.
Just hours after two Washington-based campaign-finance watchdogs requested an investigation of a company they suspected had been created to funnel $1 million to a Super PAC supporting presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the anonymous donor identified himself as a Romney associate.
The Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department have been asked by two Washington, D.C. watchdog groups to investigate possible violations of campaign finance law by a company they suspect was created to funnel $1 million to a Super PAC operated by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign staffers.
Yvette Alexander has stood alone in recent years among the District's 13 council members in her decision to pay for a constituent services office in Southeast - an office that by law the city government is required to provide free of charge to any member who requests it.
"It's quite clear that the three Republican commissioners fundamentally disagree with many of the campaign finance laws on the books and would rather not enforce them," said Paul S. Ryan, a lawyer at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, whose president, Trevor Potter, was a Republican commissioner.
Then the IRS published a guidance saying candidate-specific activity is fine as long as it's not its 'primary purpose,'" said Paul S. Ryan, a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center (CLC).