Watchdog Groups Ask FEC to Look at Perry Super PAC

Posted December 15, 2011 at 11:26am

Two watchdog groups today asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether a super political action committee that backs GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry violated campaign finance laws.

At issue is whether the super PAC known as Make Us Great Again shared video footage with campaign officials for Perry, the governor of Texas. Election laws permit super PACs to collect unregulated money but only if they don’t coordinate their activities with candidates or parties.

Filed by the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, the FEC complaint cites news reports that the Perry campaign aired a Thanksgiving Web video that recycled three clips that previously had aired in a Make Us Great Again TV ad.

“This type of video sharing makes a mockery of the contribution limits and the notion that super PACs are independent of candidates,” Campaign Legal Center attorney Paul Ryan said in a statement. “The FEC must investigate and crack down on Perry and Make Us Great Again if the super PAC gave this video footage to the campaign.”

The move comes a day after the two groups asked the IRS to investigate whether nonprofits that spend millions of dollars on political campaigns — such as American Action Network, Americans Elect and Crossroads GPS — are eligible for their tax-exempt status.

Make Us Great Again officials did not respond to a request for comment. Perry campaign officials have said there was no coordination between the PAC and the campaign.