Reports filed by the National Rifle Association Victory Fund (NRA Victory Fund) reveal that the super PAC failed to disclose key information about nearly all of its individual contributors in the 2020 election cycle – keeping from the public identifying information about a combined $510,500 in donations.
Campaign Legal Center Action (CLCA) and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the committee violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by not including occupation and employer information for the vast majority of its individual donors.
The complaint highlights the latest example in a repeated pattern of the National Rifle Association (NRA) subverting campaign finance laws. We need real transparency about who is spending big money on elections to reduce the influence of wealthy specials interests.
Transparency around who is spending money to support or oppose federal candidates is a cornerstone of FECA and critical to our democracy. Political committees are required by the FECA to report the occupation and employer of individual donors who contribute more than $200.
Like contributors’ names and addresses, this information is integral for donor identification – and allows the public to determine whether a super PAC’s political spending is bankrolled by particular industries.
Just two of 42 individual donors itemized on the NRA Victory Fund’s 2020 FEC reports included the required employment information. In the months since the reports were filed, the super PAC has yet to amend them to update the missing occupation and employer fields.
Federal law requires that committees ask donors for occupation and employer information when soliciting a contribution, and they must also follow up if donors fail to provide the required information.
Information about a candidate’s largest supporters allows voters to assess who candidates will be responsive to once in office. That is why 83% of voters across partisan lines support publicly disclosing political contributions to organizations.
Details like employer information and occupation can help to identify patterns, trends, or legal violations; for example, employer information on FEC reports helped corroborate allegations that Louis DeJoy unlawfully reimbursed employees for their political contributions.
The current reports that were filed with the FEC asks us to believe that 95% of contributors ignored both the committee’s original request for information at the time of their donations, as well as any legally required follow-up requests from the super PAC.
As alleged in the complaint, the NRA Victory Fund’s failure to disclose required donor information points to a systematic effort to evade federal reporting requirements.
Voters have a right to know which wealthy special interests are spending big money to secretly influence our vote. The FEC is the only government agency whose sole responsibility is overseeing the integrity of our political campaigns and must investigate the NRA Victory Fund’s failure to uphold the transparency requirements of campaign finance laws.