Judicial Watch Asks FEC to Investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore Group for Violating Campaign Finance Laws
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection concerning their television advertising campaign that appears to violate federal campaign finance laws. The complaint concerns the "We Campaign" television ads featuring Pelosi and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The campaign is a project of the Alliance for Climate Protection, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by former Vice President Al Gore. Judicial Watch filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service as well.
A press release about the "We Campaign" indicates that the Pelosi advertisement was scheduled to "run nationally on network and cable channels" – which presumably would have included Pelosi’s San Francisco, California district. It has been reported that the commercial "has run about 300 times on national cable networks such as Fox News and CNN" since its debut on April 18, 2008.
According to Judicial Watch’s complaint, dated May 23, 2008, this commercial represents both an in-kind contribution to the Pelosi campaign and a campaign contribution by the Alliance because Speaker Pelosi is a candidate for Congress and has run within 90 days of her June 3 primary.
According to the FEC, "When an individual or political committee pays for a communication that is coordinated with a candidate or party committee, the communication is considered an in-kind contribution to that candidate or party committee and is subject to the limits, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the federal campaign finance law." Judicial Watch’s complaint details the various ways in which the ad meets the legal definition of a "coordinated communication."
"Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore may want to the save the world, but they still have to follow federal law. This multi-million dollar contribution to Pelosi by Al Gore’s group is absolutely prohibited. The FEC and the IRS ought to act quickly to enforce the law," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
To read Judicial Watch’s FEC complaint in its entirety, please click here.
May 27, 2008