Fw: Montana Dark Money Group Attempts to Disappear
--- On Tue, 1/29/13, Melanie Sloan <info@...> wrote: Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington
You're receiving this email because late last year you signed our joint petition with Free Speech For People calling on the Department of Justice to investigate American Tradition Partnership (ATP) for lying to the IRS about its political activities. [ To unsubscribe from any future mailings from us, click here. ]
I wanted to take a moment to update you on the latest outrageous — but all-too-common — activity by this dark money front group.
In the wake of revelations that ATP attempted to influence the 2012 elections, a Montana state judge ruled ATP had ultimately operated as a political action committee and, under state law, was therefore required to disclose its donors and spending. An attorney for the state is moving to fine the non-profit for its illegal conduct, but soon there may not be anyone left to hold accountable.
The Associated Press revealed ATP is attempting to shut its doors and disappear before paying the price for its illegal attempts to influence elections.
This is not the first time we’ve seen this type of political hit and run by dark money 501(c)(4) groups in the three years since the disastrous Citizens United decision. For example, in 2010, the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity violated the law and then, faced with multiple IRS and FEC complaints, disbanded. Unlimited secret spending cannot be the status quo, and we are continuing to lead the fight for transparency in our elections.
Earlier this month, I testified in support of new regulations proposed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that would require greater transparency from dark money groups like ATP that spend $10,000 or more on state elections. As these groups increasingly turn their focus to state and judicial elections, it is essential that we pull back the curtain on individuals and corporations trying to buy our elections under cover of darkness.
We at CREW are working hard to build a better Washington, I hope you'll continue to stand with us as we keep the pressure on those trying to corrupt our democracy.
Executive Director, CREW