Greitens’ dark money groups face FEC complaint

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Groups that funneled millions of anonymous campaign dollars into helping Eric Greitens win his bid for Missouri governor in 2016 are now being put on the defensive.

This week, a liberal government watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint against those groups with the Federal Election Commission.

In the complaint, CREW alleged that two political action committees and two nonprofits violated federal campaign law by trying to funnel money into the campaign while deliberately hiding the donors’ identities.

According to the complaint, more than $6 million was routed through the two nonprofits, American Policy Coalition and Freedom Frontier, to two federal super PACs, SEALs for Truth and LG PAC. SEALs for Truth in turn directly contributed $1.975 million to Greitens’ campaign, while LG PAC spent more than $4.3 million on advertisements and other media attacking Greitens’ opponents and supporting his candidacy. CREW says all of these groups were closely connected to the Greitens campaign and to each other, sharing consultants and officers.

“Missouri voters deserve to know who exactly was bankrolling Eric Greitens’ 2016 campaign, and they are hurt by illegal schemes to hide those donors,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “Unchecked spending by special interests has plagued elections across the country and continues to exert influence over those elected to serve.”

Read the full complaint below:

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.