Lee Fang and Andrew Perez of The Intercept collect examples of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign “closely coordinating with friendly Super PACs” in apparent violation of election law.
The fact that political candidates are closely coordinating with friendly Super PACs — making a mockery of a central tenet of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision — is one of the biggest open secrets in Washington.
Super PACs are only allowed to accept unlimited contributions on the condition that the money is spent independently of specific campaigns. The Federal Election Commission hasn’t reacted for a variety of reasons, including a lack of hard evidence, vague rules, and a partisan divide among the commissioners so bitter they can’t even agree to investigate obvious crimes.
But newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.
- In a July 2015 memo addressed to Clinton herself, her campaign laid out plans for working with the Democratic National Committee and Correct the Record, a Super PAC. Correct the Record was created by David Brock, a longtime Clinton ally and the founder of Media Matters for America. One section of the memo instructed: “Work with CTR and DNC to publicize specific GOP candidate vulnerabilities.”
- In October 2015, several Clinton staffers strategized over ways to attack author Ed Klein for attributing an apparently fake quote to former President Bill Clinton in his book. “I’m sure Brock and team would love to go at him. Nick, want me to put you in touch with them?” Clinton campaign communications staffer Christina Reynolds, wrote, referring to Clinton press secretary Nick Merrill. “I can reach out to David,” volunteered Karen Finney, another Clinton staffer on the email chain.
- A month later, Reynolds emailed a list of agenda items for an upcoming campaign meeting. High on the list: determining how to frame Bernie Sanders, and whether attacks on Republicans “should go through HRC, surrogates, DNC, CTR,” another reference to Correct the Record.
Read more examples and the rest of the story here.