Courthouse News Service: Watchdog Demands Response to Complaint Over Trump PAC Donation

Britain Eakin
Jan 10, 2018
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An ethics watchdog group filed a federal complaint Wednesday against the Federal Election Commission over its delay in resolving a complaint against a large private prison company that donated money to a pro-Trump super PAC.

The Campaign Legal Center filed the lawsuit in Washington, D.C., federal court more than a year after it lodged a complaint with the FEC against GEO Corrections Holdings Inc., one of the country’s largest private prison companies, and the super PAC it donated to, Rebuilding America Now.

According to Wednesday’s eight-page lawsuit, written by in-house attorneys Adav Noti and Mark Gaber, GEO Corrections Holdings gave $225,000 to the super PAC in violation of a law that prohibits federal contractors from making political contributions.

The Campaign Legal Center says the FEC has failed to take any action on its November 2016 complaint about those contributions. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

According to the complaint, GEO Corrections Holdings has continued to make illegal political donations.

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Campaign Legal Center spokesperson Corey Goldstone said the group hopes the lawsuit will spur the FEC to process its 2016 complaint against GEO Corrections Holdings.

“The ban on federal contractors giving to political campaigns is one of the most important laws the FEC has to uphold. We don’t want federal contractors to think they can purchase contracts through political contributions,” he said in a phone interview. “We want the government to award contracts based on what’s best for the public. So the FEC has to take this seriously.”

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