States Skip FEC, Demand IDs of Nonprofit Donors

FEC gridlock prompts action

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 12:55 PM CST

(Newser) – The Federal Election Commission is stuck in partisan gridlock—so states are taking nonprofit donor disclosure into their own hands. California this month called on an Arizona group to uncover the source of $11 million used for ballot measure fights; recent court cases in Idaho and Minnesota have forced political organizations to reveal their backers; and Maine is investigating a secretive group opposed to gay marriage. "The fact that federal campaign laws are deficient or you've got a deadlocked Federal Election Commission—that doesn't mean the states are powerless," says Idaho's secretary of state.

"Frankly, if we didn't take a stand on this, we might as well just pack up our campaign disclosure law and send it away," he adds. While political action committees are required under federal law to reveal their donors, nonprofits aren't subject to those rules, the Los Angeles Times notes. Meanwhile, Democrats are looking a lot less concerned about super PACs after their successes this time around, and party leaders are already preparing for 2014 and 2016, Politico reports. A secret three-day donor meeting convened just after the election, aiming to trump a big financial advantage on the Republican side.

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters after attending a University of California Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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