FEC & DOJ: “Straw Company” Complaints to FEC & DOJ Supplemented With Additional Information Regarding Funder & FreedomWorks’ Role


Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, supplemented complaints to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding possible violations of campaign finance law by two companies seemingly created for the purpose of funneling $12 million to the Super PAC FreedomWorks for America while hiding the identity of the donor. New information uncovered by The Washington Post indicates that Illinois millionaire Richard J. Stephenson was the source of the $12 million and that FreedomWorks itself, led by executive vice president Adam Brandon, orchestrated the scheme for Stephenson to evade federal campaign finance disclosure laws. The FEC and DOJ have been urged to investigate whether Stephenson, Brandon and FreedomWorks violated federal campaign finance laws by making and receiving political contributions in the names of two shell companies.

“The latest report, if true, confirms our suspicion that the two companies were created to illegally hide the donor of $12 million given to FreedomWorks in the final weeks leading up to the election,” said Paul S. Ryan, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel. “Further, the report implies that FreedomWorks played a role and knowingly received the contributions from Mr. Stephenson illegally made in the name of the two straw donor companies. Assuming the media reports can be verified by DOJ and the FEC, the agencies must act quickly to enforce the law and deter future illegal use of straw donors to evade disclosure laws. The integrity of our elections depends on it.”

The two companies named in the original complaint, Specialty Group Inc. and Kingston Pike Development LLC, were both created by William S. Rose of Knoxville, Tennessee in late September 2012 and over the six weeks leading up to Election Day funneled more than $12 million to FreedomWorks.

To read the letter to the Department of Justice, click here.

To read the letter to the FEC, click here.