Campaign Watchdog Group Files Complaint Against Romney Super PAC Ad

The Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging that the Mitt Romney-backing Restore Our Future Super PAC has violated campaign laws.

The group says that the Super PAC's purchase of TV time to re-air an ad produced by the Romney campaign in 2007 is an in-kind contribution and thus illegal. It is basing that on report in Politico on the PAC's purchase of time to air an ad in Michigan and Arizona in advance of primaries there Tuesday that appeared identical to one aired by the Romney campaign during his 2008 presidential run. The center said it independently confirmed the ads were the same.

Super PACs can pay for and air their own ads advocating for Romney's election, but cannot contribute to candidates. Quoting FEC regulations, the Campaign Legal Center says that the financing re-publication of campaign materials "shall be considered a contribution for the purposes of contribution limitations." That makes the PAC's republication an illegal contribution, says Sunlight.

Sunlight has been tracking FEC data on Super PAC expenditures as part of its overall online effort to keep the public--and journalists--apprised of campaign spending.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.