“The Federal Election Commission (FEC) recently gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a free pass when it dismissed a Judicial Watch complaint related to an ‘electioneering advertisement’ featuring the speaker during the 2008 election season. The advertisement was part of what is known as the ‘We Campaign’ funded by Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.
According to Congressional Quarterly:
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has dismissed a complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for appearing in an environment-related ad during the 2008 election season with former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia Republican.
In May 2008, the Judicial Watch organization sent a letter to the FEC arguing that Pelosi’s appearance in a TV commercial produced by Alliance for Climate Protection constituted a violation of campaign finance laws.
The letter sparked a FEC investigation to determine if the ad could be considered a form of electioneering, which would make the money paid by the nonprofit group a prohibited ‘soft money’ donation.
Of course this ad campaign was a form of electioneering!
During the advertisement, Nancy Pelosi identifies herself as a ‘lifelong Democrat’ and then goes on to advocate a political position – the need to curb global climate change. ‘We need cleaner forms of energy, and we need them fast,’ she states during the commercial. How is that different from any other campaign commercial? (You can read a transcript of the advertisement for yourself by clicking here.)
The FEC lamely argued that the focus of the ad message was on the policy issue rather than the speaker’s candidacy. Not only is this specious reasoning, it doesn’t even square with official FEC policy, which states: ‘When an individual or political committee pays for a communication that is coordinated with a candidate or party committee, the communication is considered an in-kind contribution to that candidate or party committee and is subject to the limits, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the federal campaign finance law.”