Remember when the pro-Mitt superPAC was carpetbombing Newt prior to the Iowa Caucuses? Newt told Mitt that he could stop the negativity by telling the PAC to stop. Mitt famously said that he couldn’t because he wasn’t allowed to communicate with the PAC. He said communicating with them would be coordination.
That’s now been exposed as a lie:
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC accepting million-dollar contributions to support him are barred by law from coordinating, yet they share many of the same top-level workers, a fact both groups have helped mask by paying high-level aides through companies that appear to exist largely as conduits to avoid disclosure.
That’s just the tip of a very nasty iceberg:
Months before a top Romney aide, Steve C. Roche, stopped working for the campaign, a company controlled by Mr. Roche was established and has since been paid $2 million by the super PAC, with a million-dollar check coming just three days after the last money publicly disbursed to him by the campaign, a Washington Times review of campaign expenditure records showed.
Another consulting firm has done hundreds of thousands of dollars of work for both the campaign and the super PAC, with the most recent payment from the campaign coming the same day as the first from the super PAC. Still other companies, some doing work for the campaign and others for the PAC, are based at the same address.
Having people work on both the pro-Mitt SuperPAC and Mitt’s campaign is forbidden. That a person with an intimate understanding of Mitt’s campaign and messaging would switch from the campaign to the superPAC is disgusting. The pro-Mitt superPAC can raise money without restriction on the size of the contribution.
The pro-Mitt superPAC’s ad campaign is going further than that, too:
The non-profit, non-partisan Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint alleging a violation of campaign finance rules by Restore Our Future, the political action committee supporting Romney as a Republican presidential nominee.
The Super PAC last week launched a new ad that is nearly a carbon copy of another TV spot that Romney’s campaign aired in his failed 2008 bid. The ad aired in Arizona and Michigan, where the Super PAC has spent almost $3 million on advertising.
Super PACs can raise and spent unlimited amounts of money but cannot coordinate with candidates.
By sponsoring a re-airing of the ad originally made for the Romney campaign, Restore Our Future violated FEC regulations by effectively making a contribution to the campaign, and one that also exceeds the $2,500 donation limit, according to the Campaign Legal Center’s lawyer Paul Ryan.
Mitt hasn’t shown any hesitation in doing the wrong thing. First, he plants a staffer on the superPAC, then that superPAC reruns an ad from Mitt’s first presidential campaign. Then a campaign finance law expert intervenes and says that that constitutes a campaign contribution from the superPAC to the Romney campaign.
Saul Alinsky must be smiling somewhere.