With an unprecedented amount of spending and a surge of new independent expenditure organizations thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, there will also likely be an incredibly high number of complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which are responsible for enforcing election and tax laws. But these complaints won’t have any effect on the 2010 midterm elections. In fact, according to campaign finance experts, it’s unlikely that they will ever go anywhere, and even if they do, lawbreakers could go unpunished for years.
Already, independent political groups are facing complaints. Recently, a coalition of the U.S. Chamber Watch, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Corporate Ethics International and Main Street Alliance filed a complaint with the IRS alleging multimillion-dollar tax fraud by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Watchdog organizations Public Citizen and Protect Our Elections last week filed a complaint with the FEC against Crossroads GPS, led by former Bush advisers Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. Crossroads is also facing a complaint from Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center to the IRS, alleging that the group “is operating in violation of its tax status because it has a primary purpose of participating in political campaigns in support of, or in opposition to, candidates for public office.”
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