FEC fines Koch groups for illegal dark money

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced today that it will fine three dark money groups a total of $233,000 for concealing the sources of funds spent on political ads in 2010. Three groups — the American Future Fund, 60 Plus Association and Americans for Job Security — received money from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), now American Encore. CPPR is linked to the Koch brothers — it was founded by Sean Noble, who was, at the time, central to the Kochs’ dark money efforts. As head of CPPR, he “handed out almost $137 million in 2012 alone — all of it so-called dark money from unnamed donors.” The American Future Fund spent millions during the Republican presidential primary this year to oppose Donald Trump and John Kasich. In 2013, CPPR admitted to failing to properly disclose money spent on a California ballot proposition that year.

When checks and balances fall short: Ethics oversight needed

Katherine Duncan is the Communications Assistant at CREW and previously worked as a corporate editor. Walker Davis is a Research Associate at CREW where he researches campaign finance and lobbying issues. In case it wasn’t already clear, having accountability measures in place for elected officials is crucial. Unchecked power is a formula for corruption. Perhaps nowhere has this been more clear recently than in state-level politics in New Mexico and Mississippi, both of which lack appropriate accountability systems and both of which have faced local scrutiny and public outrage after widely reported ethical issues, including public officials using campaign funds for personal expenses.