Press Releases

ECU Applauds New FEC Scrutiny of Corporate Donations

Apr 05, 2016

April 5, 2016
Contact: [email protected]

WASHINGTON — End Citizens United today applauded news that the Federal Election Commission may be increasing scrutiny for LLCs and other business entities used — and sometimes created — for the purpose of hiding the identity of contributors.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the “three Republican appointees on the divided Federal Election Commission have indicated that political donors who give through private companies solely to shield their identities can be sanctioned, signaling that the agency may scrutinize a rash of ‘pop-up’ corporations giving large sums to super PACs.”

The three Republicans join Democratic members of the commission looking to reform a campaign finance system that allows anonymous contributions through business entities.

One of the key points of evidence proving that LLCs are being used to anonymize contributions was discovered by researchers at End Citizens United.

End Citizens United uncovered that Children of Israel LLC — a company formed in California last June that contributed $400,000 to Super PACs aiding former Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Ted Cruz in their campaigns for president — listed its type of business as “Donations” in forms filed with the state of California.

This is the most blatant example yet of the creation of shell corporations for the purpose of political donations, a practice that campaign finance experts from both parties have argued is illegal. The Federal Election Commission has taken an important step toward acknowledging that reality.

End Citizens United, along with other campaign finance groups, have filed complaints with the FEC regarding Children of Israel LLC.

End Citizens United researchers also investigated two $100,000 contributions made from LLCs to Right to Rise, a Super PAC formerly supporting Jeb Bush’s campaign. Mother Jones reported on the donations in December.

End Citizens United PAC was established in March 2015 to counter the disastrous effects of Citizens United and reform our campaign finance system. ECU has raised more than $9 million from more than 500,000 contributions, with an average contribution of $14.

Read more on End Citizens United from Roll Call: Campaign Finance Reform PAC Wants to Be a Player in 2016.