CLC v. FEC (Straw Donor & PAC Registration/ Reporting Violations by SCYWSE LLC)


At a Glance

CLC challenged the FEC’s delay in enforcing key provisions of federal campaign finance law, including the ban on “straw donors,” against SCYWSE, LLC, which gave a $150,000 contribution to a federal super PAC despite having no public history of any business or commercial activity.

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About this Case

In February 2020, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed an administrative complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), alleging that the Society of Young Women Scientist and Engineers (SCYWSE), an obscure LLC violated the Federal Election Campaign Act’s prohibition against “straw donors” as well as the Act’s registration and reporting requirements for political committees. CLC’s administrative complaint alleges that SCYWSE and those who created and control the company broke federal law by using the company to conceal the true sources of a $150,000 contribution SCYWSE made to a federal super PAC just five weeks after the company was created. CLC’s administrative complaint further alleges that SCYWSE’s sole apparent activity is making contributions in federal elections, and it thus qualified as a federal PAC but failed to properly register and file disclosure reports as required by law.

After waiting more than 240 days for the FEC to act on the administrative complaint against SCYWSE, CLC filed this case against the FEC on Oct. 6, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. CLC’s suit asks the court to order the FEC to take action on its administrative complaint as required by law.

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