Two watchdog groups said Thursday they plan to sue the Federal Election Commission over its decision to dismiss a complaint against GOP strategist Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.
The Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen announced the action after the December dismissal of the original complaint against Mr. Rove’s super PAC. The dispute centered on whether Crossroads properly registered as a political organization and disclosed its donors while spending massive amounts on political advertising in the 2010-2012 election cycle.
“The rationale of the Republican bloc of commissioners is tortured and obstructionist,” said Craig Holman, co-signer of the complaint in a statement released on Thursday. “They refused to follow the FEC’s own policies in determining political committee status.”
Public Citizen, ProtextOurDemocracy.org, and other watchdog groups filed a complaint with the FEC in October 2010 alleging that Crossroads GPS’ spending made it a political committee that must disclose its donors according to federal campaign finance laws. The commissioners deadlocked on party lines over whether to pursue further investigation, effectively ending the investigation.
According to the statement, the new lawsuit will argue that the FEC’s dismissal of the case was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to the law.
Crossroads officials staunchly denied any wrongdoing, and suggested the group was targeted for its conservative views and the prominence of its founder.
“Frankly, if the case had dealt with any other organization besides GPS, the commission would have unanimously dismissed the complaint a long time ago,” the group’s lawyer told Politico last month.