Gonzalez Calls for Investigation of Potential Campaign Finance Law Violations
( August 16, 2011) Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Charles Gonzalez (TX-20), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Elections, made public a letter he wrote to the Federal Elections Commission and Department of Justice calling for an investigation of the anonymous donation of $1,000,000 to a so-called “Super PAC” supporting presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Rep. Gonzalez’s also called for an examination of the rules on disclosure of political donations.
“Donation disclosure laws have been supported by strong, bi-partisan majorities in both chambers of Congress for decades,” said Rep. Gonzalez, “and, in 2010’s Citizens United decision, an 8-1 majority of the Supreme Court upheld the principle of disclosure, because the American people want and deserve to know who is funding our political campaigns. Evading those laws is wrong, and if FEC needs to improve its regulations to ensure that the laws are effective, they should do so in a bi-partisan fashion. If any evasion of the laws resulted from illicit activity, I am confident that the attorneys at the Department of Justice will take all appropriate measures.”
The donation at the center of Rep. Gonzalez’s letter was made by the company W Spann LLC to “Restore Our Future PAC” on April 28 of this year. Investigations by campaign finance watchdogs found that W Spann LLC had been created just six weeks earlier and went out of existence just three months after making the contribution. After the storm of protest, a former colleague of Mr. Romney claimed responsibility for the donation, but questions remain as to whether creating a company for the purpose of keeping a donation anonymous complies with federal law and regulations. This donation also exposes a possible loophole in disclosure regulation that would allow ineligible donors, such as foreign governments, to donate to campaigns.
“Blatant efforts to deceive the American people and cast a shroud of secrecy over the funding of political campaigns erodes at one of the cornerstones of our American democracy,” said Rep. Gonzalez. “Any suggestion that such activities have taken place deserves a thorough and comprehensive review to ensure the integrity of our election system.”
Since Rep. Gonzalez’s letter went out, reports have surfaced of additional anonymous donations of $1,000,000 to Restore Our Future PAC.