Hillary Clinton has relentlessly attacked the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. That decision is more permissive than leftists would like when it comes to political speech activities by nonprofit committees. Even so, it remains illegal for campaigns to directly coordinate with these nonprofit committees, known as super PACs, to advocate for the election or defeat of specific candidates.
This restriction didn’t suit the Clinton campaign. WikiLeaks documents show that it plotted to use election law loopholes to skirt limitations on coordination with independent big-money committees. At the same time, it planned to sue Republicans if they attempted to circumvent the same laws in similar ways.
Jim Stinson of PoliZette has the details. He cites a May 2015 memo written by Marc Elias that Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook shared with the campaign.
According to Stinson, the memo explained that the Clinton campaign committee would be pushing the legal envelope by directly coordinating with Correct the Record, a super PAC founded by liberal activist and Clinton ally David Brock.
Correct the Record gets around the election rules by not paying for broadcast advertisements, phone banks, mass mailings, or canvassing programs. As Elias noted, FEC rules only specifically bar coordination tied to “public communications.” Coordinating on items that would not ultimately be included in paid media would allow the campaign to skirt the law.
Nor was this all. Elias identified another loophole that would allow the campaign to coordinate some activities with Priorities USA, the Democratic Party’s largest super PAC. He argued that this would be permissible if the campaign worked with the group 120 days before a primary election.
Elias warned, however, that these tactics would test the limits of election law. He wrote:
While we believe that such a program is legally permissible, it would be breaking new ground — more so than what CTR [Correct the Record, Brock’s outfit] is doing. As evidenced by the press scrutiny of CTR’s announcement, the media reaction to such a program could be toxic.
The final portion of the Elias memo discussed bedeviling the Republican Party and Jeb Bush — then thought to be the likely GOP nominee — with complaints to the Federal Election Commission. Elias recognized that the Clinton campaign couldn’t attack Republicans for coordination with committees that mirrored what the Clintonistas were doing. He explained:
If we proceed with this effort, we will take steps to ensure that any suit pursued on our side is on a topic that cannot easily be applied to any conduct on our side.
The key word here is “easily.” The idea was to sue the Republicans for conduct tactics similar to, but arguably distinguishable from, what the Dems were doing to circumvent the law.
Hillary Clinton isn’t interested in clean elections or keeping big money out of the electoral process. She and her crowd just want to use election laws to game the system.
This isn’t news. But the latest WikiLeaks documents confirm the rampant hypocrisy of the Clinton machine on this subject.