MapLight: Hacked Clinton Campaign Memo Lays Out Legal Basis For Coordinating With Super PAC
Brendan Fischer, an associate counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told MapLight that “the backlash against Correct the Record's coordination scheme was not a 'misunderstanding.' What Correct the Record is doing is illegal.” He called the super PAC’s work in support of Clinton a “brazen effort to undermine the campaign finance laws.”
Last month, Fischer’s group filed a complaint with the FEC against the Clinton campaign and Correct the Record. The nonpartisan watchdog organization called on regulators to investigate whether the Clinton campaign and Correct the Record have illegally coordinated.
The complaint notes that the super PAC has done more than share content online: its employees have conducted opposition research, trained surrogates, pitched stories to reporters and led “rapid response” efforts. These expenses may be “coordinated expenditures,” which would be prohibited in-kind contributions to her campaign, the Campaign Legal Center says.
Correct the Record did not respond to MapLight’s request for comment. The super PAC has previously dismissed the Campaign Legal Center’s complaint as “ridiculous.”
Clinton isn’t the only candidate this election cycle to test the boundaries between outside groups and campaigns. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush raised $100 million for a super PAC that backed him once he had formally announced his candidacy. His Republican primary opponent Carly Fiorina filmed an hour-long documentary with a super PAC before announcing her own candidacy, and the group’s staffers later helped with advance work at her campaign’s events.
The Campaign Legal Center has also filed an FEC complaint against Trump's campaign and two super PACs backing him.
Still, campaign finance experts say that Correct the Record’s relationship with the Clinton campaign is notable for its audacity. The super PAC has spent more than $8 million this election cycle, according to FEC records.