It’s now been twice that the FEC ruling allowing for anonymously funded election ads has been ruled illegal:
A U.S. judge again tossed out a Federal Election Commission rule that allowed nonprofit groups running “issue ads” to keep their donors secret, in a setback for groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington said today that the rule is “arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law.” Jackson arrived at her decision a second time, after a Washington-based appeals court asked her to reconsider a 2012 order requiring disclosure of donor names.
At issue were FEC regulations adopted in 2007 that let organizations and nonprofit groups keep secret the names of donors who pay for issue ads during an election campaign. In her previous ruling, Jackson said the regulations clashed with requirements of the 2002 campaign-finance law known as McCain-Feingold, a finding she reiterated today.
Congress passed the disclosure rules “to ensure that members of the public would be aware of who was trying to influence their votes just before an election,” Jackson wrote. The FEC’s rule “thwarts that objective by creating an easily exploited loophole that allows the true sponsors of advertisements to hide behind dubious and misleading names,” she said.
The rules at issue today apply only to what are known as “electioneering communications,” or ads that run before an election and mention a federal candidate without urging a vote for or against the person. So-called independent expenditures, which advocate support for or opposition to a candidate, aren’t affected by the decision.
The Supreme Court specifically allowed for disclosure requirements in their Citizens United ruling, and we the law explicitly calls for disclosure, and we are still litigating this?
Would the federal courts please finish cock punching Karl Rove?