Court ruling doesn't stop untraceable election spending

February 12, 2019 - 5:57 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 100 outside groups spent over $50 million on "independent expenditure" ads during the closing months of last year's midterm elections.

But a new report from the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center found that only about 8 percent revealed information about the donors behind the ads.

It's the latest discouraging news for campaign finance activists, many of whom hailed a court ruling last year by a Washington, D.C.-based federal judge as a game changer that would force "dark money" groups to reveal more information about their donors.

But the task of clarifying how to apply the decision fell to the Federal Election Commission. An attorney for the Campaign Legal Center says the FEC issued vague guidance that's allowed outside groups to skirt disclosure.

The FEC declined to comment.

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