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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FEC says it's powerless against 'scam' PACs that may have cost Allen West his seat -- By Luke Rosiak, The Washington Examiner

Allen West, the former Florida Republican congressman, filed a complaint that four PACs siphoned off funding from his 2012 re-election campaign, using his name and Image to raise funds for themselves. The groups did little or nothing to help West with the money they raised. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)Political operatives are profiting by using misleading pleas to raise money from people who think they're giving to well-known candidates who don't actually benefit at all.

Their donors are often elderly retirees, campaign finance records show.

But "scam" PACs have little to fear from the Federal Election Commission, according to a series of newly released rulings.

The FEC looked at four such groups after Allen West, the former Florida Republican congressman, filed a complaint that each siphoned off funding from his 2012 re-election campaign, using his name and Image to raise funds for themselves. The groups did little or nothing to help West with the money they raised.

He lost the race by a narrow margin, meaning if those dollars could have been used by the campaign, it might have helped keep him in office.

There is “little doubt that the Respondent sought to use Representative West's likeness to raise funds independently to support his candidacy. Moreover, it appears that the Respondent spent very little of the money it raised to support West," FEC officials wrote in an opinion made public Monday.

"Nonetheless, the commission cannot agree with Complainant that this conduct constitutes a fraud within the reach of [FEC] regulation. Whether it is prohibited by laws beyond the [regulation], criminal or otherwise, is not a matter within the Commission's jurisdiction," the opinion said.

The four PACs raised $14.3 million in 2012. Not all of that is attributable to fundraising that invoked West’s name, but their figures for legitimate advocacy on behalf of other candidates are similarly dismal.

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