The Center for Competitive Politics has released a comprehensive memo analyzing two recent charges that GOP-leaning independent groups are violating campaign finance laws.
ThinkProgress, a unit of the Center for American Progress, posted a blog item alleging that the Chamber used foreign funds in its political activity. Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service alleging that Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) organization has abused its tax status.
Both allegations are baseless, according to our analysis:
Despite cherry-picked statements by CLC/D21 alleging a nefarious conspiracy by Crossroads GPS officials to violate tax law, there’s no solid evidence to that effect. As Ben Smith noted in Politico, “the letter is aimed at suggesting to donors and groups that they might not be in the clear.”
American Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AmChams) have existed since 1896, when the first one was formed in France. The India affiliate, cited by ThinkProgress, was formed in 1992. The groups, according to their bylaws, are not allowed to accept any financial aid from foreign governments, and their minimal contributions to the U.S. Chamber are simply not used for political activity. This is not a new issue, and there’s absolutely no evidence that the Chamber is doing anything improper this election cycle.