Another day, another headline about problems with money in politics.
The Campaign Legal Center, a leading campaign finance watchdog, along with Democracy 21, filed a complaint recently with the Federal Election Commission, calling on the agency to investigate contributions to “the ghost corporation” “Children of Israel LLC” – which funneled $400,000 to two super PACs.
According to an article by The Washington Post, the California-based LLC contributed $50,000 to Pursuing America’s Greatness, a super PAC supporting Mike Huckabee’s previous presidential run, and another $100,000 in November.
And in January, it donated $250,000 to Stand for Truth, a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC. These donations made “Children of Israel LLC” the fourth-biggest donor to each of these groups, although the true source of the funding was never disclosed to the public.
Additionally, Shaofen “Lisa” GAO, the founder of the LLC, filed paperwork with the California’s secretary of state’s office in September listing “donations” as her company’s type of business, an apparent admission the company was created to act as a conduit for secret money.
“Without FEC action, we’ll continue to see a trend of donors hiding behind LLCs to skirt disclosure laws,” said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center. “As secret super PAC donors face no consequences, Americans are left in the dark, without any way of knowing who is funding and influencing campaigns, including whether illegal foreign money is creeping into American elections.”
This is the fourth complaint this year that the Campaign Legal Center has filed with the FEC against donors funneling money through LLCs to avoid disclosure laws. CLC and Democracy 21 await FEC action.