Update: Unity08 Files Lawsuit Against FEC PAC Ruling
Earlier this month, I asked Unity08 why it had not registered as a PAC organization despite specific instructions in the October 2006 FEC advisory opinion (an opinion Unity08 pledged to follow) that it should register as a PAC organization within 10 days.
Yesterday evening, Unity08 responded to my question:
I’ve followed up with the Unity08 leadership regarding this question. Here’s the full scoop…
Unity08 has filed a court challenge to the FEC advisory opinion issued last fall that asserted the FEC’s authority to regulate our activities, including setting contribution limits. We requested that advisory opinion because Unity08 is a new entity, and we wanted guidance to be sure that we operate in accordance with all applicable elections laws.
We believe that the FECâ€™s response was inconsistent with several Supreme Court cases which have established Constitutional limitations on the reach of the FEC. Until our court challenge is resolved, we will not register with the FEC, which is appropriate and typical under these circumstances. But we HAVE precisely followed the contribution limitations the FECâ€™s advisory opinion called for, and we have reported to the IRS the contribution and expenditure information that we would otherwise report to the FEC.
Once the court challenge has run its course we will, of course, comply with the final decision on this issue and all associated reporting requirements.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions and I’ll do my best to get them answered.
I do have a few very specific factual follow-up questions:
1. With what court is this challenge filed?
2. Is Unity08 willing to post copies of the documents it has submitted to this court on the Unity08.com website?
3. Is Unity08 paying legal fees for this process, or are they being paid by some other person or entity (if so, who?)
4. When do you expect this court process to be resolved?
1. Why is Unity08 determined to register as a 527 organization if it is voluntarily following FEC contribution and expenditure requirements for PACs?
2. Are there FEC requirements for PACs other than contribution and expenditure information that Unity08 is NOT currently following, or has not in the past followed?
3. The IRS is notably slow in posting submitted 8872 disclosure forms. Forms (to correct factual errors of previous 8872 forms) submitted at the beginning of this month to the IRS have not been posted for download. Will Unity08 post copies of these completed forms to its website, now and in the future?
I appreciate your willingness to get these questions answered. I agree with Unity08 that “transparency is essential to the public’s trust.”
Let’s see whether Unity08 follows through on its pledge to get follow-up questions such as these — which are directed at increasing the transparency of information in this very opaque process — answered.