The Federal Election Commission has launched two investigations into Ron Paul’s/Rand Paul’s Campaign for Liberty – and the elder Paul isn’t happy about it.
Here’s a bit from C4L’s latest email blast:
Dear Liberty Activist,
The FEC has launched a pair of investigations on Campaign for Liberty.
Both are meritless, but could seriously disrupt our growing program.
Please read Campaign for Liberty President John Tate’s letter below and stand with us.
This is exactly the type of government action to quell liberty that I have spent my life opposing.
Congressman Ron Paul
It goes on:
Dear Friend of Liberty,
The best way to know you are succeeding in changing Washington is when you get attacked by the FEC.
And attack us they have!
I’m writing you this letter today not to scare you or to cry wolf. I’m writing to let you know that our success has its price, and that price right now is the wrath of the Obama Administration and its attack dogs at the Federal Election Commission.
My attorneys tell me we are under a gag rule and cannot go in to too many details or even tell you with what we have been charged and where the charges originated.
But I can say there have been at least two complaints filed in two different states against our issue discussion activities.
They claim we are in violation of various FEC rules and laws.
This battle is over a very fundamental idea – that Campaign for Liberty and our members should have a voice in lobbying their legislators and exposing the radical views of candidates for office.
If FEC radicals succeed, I will not even be allowed to tell you and your neighbors how candidates for the House and Senate (or for President in the future) have voted on Liberty issues, so you can put the heat on them when they are most likely to listen.
But as bad as the FEC has been since its inception, with the Obama Administration in power, you and I face even more aggressive assaults on our free speech.
My attorneys have warned me that the puppets at the Federal Election Commission are ordering me to stop mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Americans against power grabs in Congress.
The fact is the enemies of Liberty are preparing for a political attack far more serious than their election power grab of 2008, in which they put in power some of the biggest enemies of freedom and promoters of Big Government in a generation.
Our program to stop more statist takeovers in Congress is simple. By mobilizing our grassroots army, we can put a lot of heat on individual Congressmen and Senators.
The FEC insists we can’t do that during election years.
Click here to read the entire thing.
Unfortunately for John Tate, the FEC isn’t after C4L because the organization is merely exercising the First Amendment. The FEC is investigating claims that the organization is using its staff to directly benefit candidates for elected office. Like they’re doing with Rand Paul. And concealing corporate contributions, coordinating with candidates and knowingly exceeding contribution limits.
For more information, courtesy Politico, here’s (Warning: External PDF Link) at least one of the FEC complaints filed.
Here’s an excerpt:
[I]n January 2010, intending to benefit Buck and the Buck Committee and, upon information and belief, with the involvement of John Hoteling, Campaign for Liberty used funds funneled to it by Hensel Phelps and/or Morgensen and/or other individuals who have contributed in excess of the maximum allowable contribution limit of $2,400 per individual to spend approximately $329,000 on a television ad campaign attacking one of Buck’s potential primary opponents.
As is clear from the foregoing, the Declaration Alliance, Campaign for Liberty and AJS television ad buys made for the benefit of Buck and the Buck Committee and the AJS campaign literature promoting Buck for Senate mailed to Colorado citizens were financed, upon information and belief, by Morgensen, Hensel Phelps, other contributors, Cache Bank and Trust, Greeley, CO, and/or Mrs. Buck to the extent of her joint ownership interest in the Greeley Townhouse. See attached Exhibit L. As such, these contributions constitute contributions in excess of the permissible FEC limits, impermissible coordinated campaign expenditures and prohibited corporate contributions by a major federal government contractor and/or a regulated banking institution.
Moreover, Buck’s campaign manager Mr. Klein had details concerning the AJS television ads, such as the amount of the ad buy, where and when the AJS television ads would be run, and the duration of the AJS television ad buy. See attached Exhibit K. This is the sort of information that could only have come from those purchasing and running the ads, namely AJS and/or Morgensen and/or Hensel Phelps and/or Mrs. Buck and/or other undisclosed contributors. Thus, the Declaration Alliance and AJS ad buys were “made in cooperation, consultation or concert with” Buck and the Buck Committee, and the ads are coordinated communications under the Act and the Commission’s regulations.
As a result, expenditures by Declaration Alliance, Campaign for Liberty, AJS, Morgensen, Hensel Phelps, Mrs. Buck, and/or other undisclosed contributors constitute impermissible in- kind contributions to Buck and the Buck Committee and, in all probability, prohibited corporate contributions by a major federal government contractor and/or a regulated banking institution for the benefit of Buck and the Buck Committee.
See where this is going? Coordination with candidates, allegedly concealing contributions, funneling corporate cash. It goes on and on.
The FEC and campaign finance regulations exist not to limit free speech but to guarantee transparency. When property disclosure isn’t occurring and organizations like C4L are directly working for candidates – literally spending non-profit dollars to help them win – then there’s a problem. And when you knowingly don’t abide by set contribution limits? Then you’re willfully breaking the law.