The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) announced today that it has filed complaints against two Illinois SuperPACs for failing to comply with state election statutes. The committees, African American Clergy Coalition and Moving Aurora Forward #461, each received the majority of their funding from a single source, but failed to identify that source as their sponsoring entity in filings with the State Board of Elections as required by law.
“ICPR believes strongly that the public has a right to know who is speaking about issues and candidates that will be on the ballot. Political donors should not be able to disguise their identities by running money through a SuperPAC,” said David Morrison, Deputy Director of ICPR.
Most political committees are barred from taking outsized contributions from a single source due to contribution limits, which have been in effect in Illinois since 2011. But SuperPACs are exempt from contribution limits and so may take vast sums from a single donor.
State law requires that all political committees list on their Statement of Organization (“D-1 form”) the name of any donor whose contributions account for more than one-third of their total receipts. Such donors are labeled “sponsoring entities.”
“SuperPACs should not be allowed to be political sock puppets. Political groups have a duty to the public to be honest about who they are,” said Morrison.
The complaints filed by ICPR allege the following violations of state law:
· African American Clergy Coalition formed in March of this year and since then has reported raising $82,000. All of that money came from the Washington DC- based National Organization for Marriage, but African American Clergy Coalition did not list that organization as its sponsoring entity.
· Moving Aurora Forward #461 formed in February of this year and since then has reported raising $23,800. More than three-fourths of that money, $18,000, came from Friends of Tom Weisner, but Moving Aurora Forward #461 did not list the committee, formed to support the mayor of Aurora, as a sponsoring entity.
ICPR routinely examines filings by SuperPACS precisely because they are not covered by contribution limits. Of the 17 SuperPACs now operating in Illinois, these two were the only ones that appear to have violated the sponsoring entity rule.