Excerpt taken from the article
Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's powerful outside spending group, is banking that a typo on the Federal Election Commission's website will allow it to spend anonymously for a few extra days without reprisal.
In the periods leading up to elections and party conventions, FEC rules disclosing outside spending tighten. Within the 30 days before a nominating convention, groups have to report political ads that don't explicitly tell viewers to vote for or against a candidate (which go unreported all other times).
This year's Democratic National Convention begins September 4, meaning groups that air these "electioneering communications" after August 4 must disclose their donors. But because a typo on the FEC website temporarily said this period began August 7, Crossroads GPS has continued airing its ad criticizing President Obama well past that deadline and has no intention of disclosing donors, according to the L.A. Times.
The FEC made perhaps an even bolder move by essentially promising not to enforce the law, says Joe Birkenstock
, a Washington campaign finance lawyer [with Caplin & Drysdale]. He says a ruling in a recent court case, the same one that requires these ads to be disclosed also covers how the FEC enforces such issues.
"What [the FEC] can't do is say, "We're not going to enforce laws that are clear and unambiguous," Birkenstock says. "With groups that are better advised like Crossroads, is it really fair to say they were misled by the website?" Click here to read the entire article on Crossroads GPS using a typo on FEC's website to spend anonymously