Washington Times: For FEC, it’s disclosure for thee, but not for me (In the News)

By Scott Blackburn
The three Democratic appointees on the commission wanted to proceed with an intrusive investigation of the group, pointing to a document by the FEC’s general counsel making the case for proceeding. The three Republican appointees disagreed, pointing to a separate, earlier document from the FEC’s general counsel, which the three Democratic commissioners refused to release to the public.
The entire document’s 76 pages were all deemed too sensitive to be seen, and were completely redacted.
Any of the sitting Democratic FEC commissioners could have joined with the Republicans and allowed for disclosure of the document, but all three voted to keep the report secret.
It’s not hard to imagine why. Defeating your foe in the court of public opinion is a much easier task if your opponent’s argument is literally covered up by FEC lawyers. The plan worked. The ruling produced headlines such as, “Crossroads GPS probably broke election law, FEC lawyers concluded” and “FEC Believes Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS violated campaign-finance laws.”

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.