PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party filed a complaint today with the Federal Elections Commission against a pro-Ann Kirkpatrick ad currently running on television in Arizona. The complaint argues that the television ad violates federal laws that prohibit coordination between candidates and Super PACs.
The complain asks the FEC to immediately begin an investigation into the ad.
The ad, which is running on Phoenix television, is paid for by House Majority PAC, a Democrat Super PAC that supports Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick. It includes footage produced and posted on the internet that had been created and paid for by the Kirkpatrick campaign. Under FEC laws, this makes the ad an illegal in-kind contribution, by the PAC, to the Kirkpatrick campaign because it uses property owned by the Kirkpatrick campaign.
The original complaint is here. It looks pretty open- and-shut: there are at least five places in the Super PAC ad where footage was lifted from Kirkpatrick's original ad and rebroadcast. That makes it an in-kind direct contribution, and thus off limits for Super PACs.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Oh, the FEC will find some way to squash this, of course. Ann Kirkpatrick is a Democrat in electoral trouble this year, and the President is a Democrat trying to find ways to help out his fellow-party members without actually doing anything as risky as be nice to them in public. But House Majority PAC still made an unforced error here, and will probably have to withdraw the ad.
PPS: Yes, I think that a lot of these rules are kind of stupid, too. They exist nonetheless, and since the Democrats like them so much then they should take extra care to follow them.