- The Washington Times - Friday, December 20, 2019

A right-leaning watchdog has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Sen. Gary Peters of illegally coordinating with a progressive “dark money” group, the second time the Michigan Democrat has faced such charges.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust previously accused Mr. Peters and his reelection campaign of illegally coordinating with VoteVets, a progressive veterans’ advocacy group. This time, FACT said Mr. Peters expanded the illicit coordination to include Majority Forward, another progressive advocacy group.

Groups that use “dark money” do not disclose their donors. Federal election laws place different restrictions on these groups’ political activities.

Kendra Arnold, FACT executive director, wrote in the FEC complaint last week that Mr. Peters used postings on a designated webpage to instruct organizations that he is prohibited from coordinating with to run ads to his benefit.

“Peters provides detailed content for advertisements and markets in which to run the advertisements based upon the campaign’s internal data and advertising needs, and provides it in a format designed to directly communicate with outside organizations,” Ms. Arnold wrote in the complaint. “In this case, Majority Forward then republished campaign materials in the form of advertisements. This type of behavior is contrary to federal law that prohibits candidates from coordinating with outside groups and is a prohibited campaign contribution.”

FACT’s complaint also alleges that Majority Forward made an illegal contribution to the campaign with an estimated value of $20,000 to $25,000 by distributing, republishing and financing the dissemination of campaign material.

Mr. Peters’ campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment.

In response to previous questions about accusations of improper coordination, Mr. Peters campaign told The Washington Times that “outside special interests” were “misleading Michiganders with false attacks” on the senator and that the public could view facts about his record online.

Majority Forward did not respond to requests for comment.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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