Rove-linked group cites 2007 case to defend its Ohio ad

Ohio’s Democratic party has announced it will be filing a complaint against American Crossroads, the Republican group often associated with Karl Rove which has recently advertised in a handful of key Senate races. The Democrats contend that this ad represents an illegal coordination with Rob Portman’s Senate campaign because it contains three photographs that originated on Portman’s campaign website:

But former FEC Chairman and RNC Chief Counsel Tom Josefiak, the group’s counsel, believes the case is a slam dunk in their favor. In a memo obtained by The Examiner, he writes:

“…American Crossroads produced its Portman ad entirely independently of the Portman campaign, and any content that it did not produce itself was obtained from widely available public domain sources on the Internet, including YouTube. Absolutely no material used in the ad was obtained from the Portman campaign website, or in any other way from the Portman campaign.”

Josefiak cites a 2007 FEC case, New Trier Democratic Organization, in which a group had republished a campaign photograph in a flyer and was accused of coordination. The organization in question argued that the campaign had not given it permission to use the image, and that it had obtained the photograph from a different source. The FEC noted that “there are copies of the same photograph in numerous places in the public domain,” and ruled that the complaint against the group was based on “unwarranted legal conclusions from asserted facts, or mere speculation” about the photograph’s origin.

The ruling is especially significant, Josefiak argues, because it came after a 2006 ruling  that found fault with but applied no penalty to EMILY’S List, a group that backs candidates who support legalized abortion. The group had used a photograph from the campaign of Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, prompting a complaint. The 2007 New Trier ruling, Josefiak writes, appears to follow the dissenting opinion in the EMILY’s List case, in which two commissioners had opined that the regulation should not apply.

Says the group’s spokesman, Jonathan Collegio: “We are confident in our legal standing and in the appropriateness of our spots, and that the complaint will be dismissed by the FEC.”

american crossroadsBeltway ConfidentialFECUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

Most Read