When special interests want to keep their political spending secret, they often employ “straw donors” — an LLC, trust or other corporate entity that is used to funnel the contribution to a super PAC so that the true contributor’s name doesn’t appear on public campaign finance reports. In some cases, these “straw donors” are even used to conceal corruption or foreign influence in American elections.
This practice violates federal campaign finance laws and harms democracy. The integrity of the electoral process depends on transparent public disclosure of who is spending money on elections. Voters have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote, and straw donor schemes undermine an open and inclusive democracy.
CLC investigates potential straw donations and files complaints requesting that federal authorities, including the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice, enforce the law and impose harsh penalties to deter future straw donor schemes. CLC also supports legal reforms to close loopholes that create opportunities for straw donor schemes and improve electoral transparency.