Donations to a Susan Collins’ Super PAC have been busted for possible violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act, namely hiding the source of the money.
The Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint based on a belief that an LLC that was formed weeks before pouring $150,000 into a Super PAC to help embattled Republican Senator Susan Collins win re-election in the Maine senate race has violated the Federal Election Campaign Act.
It also isn’t the only LLC looking like a shady cover for pouring money into the Republican’s race.
“This LLC was formed just weeks before giving $150k to the super PAC. As was the case with Globale Energy Producers LLC, it doesn’t look like ‘Society for Young Women Scientists & Engineers LLC’ is the true source of the funds. We are filing a complaint this morning,” federal reform program director Brendan Fischer at Campaign Legal Center wrote Monday morning.
– … there is reason to believe that Jennifer Lam and/or other person(s) who created, operated, and/or contributed to SYWSE (John Doe, Jane Doe,and other persons) may have violated 52 U.S.C. § 30122 by “[m]aking a contribution of money . . . and attributing as the source of the money . . . another person [namely, SYWSE] when in fact [the person(s) who created, operated and/or contributed to SYWSE was] the source.”
– … there is reason to believe that SYWSE has violated 52 U.S.C. § 30122 by “knowingly permit[ting its] name to be used to effect such a contribution.” 52 U.S.C. § 30122.
– … there is reason to believe that SYWSE met the two-prong test for political committee status by (1) being an entity or group of persons with the “major purpose” of influencing the “nomination or election of a candidate” and (2) receiving “contributions” of $1,000 or more in a calendar year.
As of January 12, 2020 Susan Collins was more unpopular than Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. Unpopular politicians who don’t represent the people require and rely upon dark money to prop them up so they can continue to serve the needs of the source of that dark money instead of regular citizens.
That poll was taken BEFORE the Senate voted they didn’t need any witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
It doesn’t escape this woman writer that the name of this newly formed LLC is “Society for Young Women Scientists & Engineers,” when Susan Collins is so unpopular in part for her support of accused sexual assaulter and now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Here’s how this possible violation came to light:
The shady Super PAC was flagged by Propublica journalist Derek Willis, while linking to their project:
2019 donors to 1820 PAC, a super PAC backing Susan Collins in #MESEN, included
* Warren Stephens
* Newsmax Media
* Something called the Society for Young Woman Scientist and Engineers LLC in Hawaii (no website or Google results)https://t.co/LeqTjBwy8r#FECFilingDay pic.twitter.com/TmMTZyeN7y
— Derek Willis (@derekwillis) January 31, 2020
— Brendan Fischer (@brendan_fischer) February 3, 2020
According to his bio, Fischer “directs CLC’s work before federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Election Commission (FEC), to ensure vigorous and fair enforcement of campaign finance and ethics laws, and to hold candidates and political committees accountable for violating those laws.”
As our democracy is threatened and undermined at many points, the work of tracking the dark money pouring in to silence the voice of the people has become even more important than it was before. It might seem like small steps against a tidal wave, but keeping a democracy has never been easy. The powerful always want more and the people always have to fight to keep whatever power they have.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.