Democratic super PAC, Sink campaign face FEC complaint of illegal coordination

Published March 9, 2014

A Democratic super PAC and the Alex Sink campaign face an FEC complaint alleging illegal coordination on an ad that attacked Republican David Jolly in Pinellas' special House election.

A letter to the Federal Election Commission from Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House Speaker John Boehner, says there is "strong and ample reason to believe that House Majority PAC, the (Democratic) party and the Sink campaign" violated election rules.

At issue is a House Majority PAC ad featuring Largo couple Elizabeth and Rod Snedeker, who implied Jolly lobbied for a group that wanted to privatize Social Security. (Jolly says he did not.) The Snedekers are active in a local Democratic club, and in an interview they said House Majority PAC called the club looking for someone to use in the ad.

"The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Democratic Club is part of the official Democatic Party structure at the local level and is, therefore, subject to the coordination prohibition," the complaint states.

Mrs. Snedeker is listed as treasurer of the club but she said a new officer was elected in 2012.

The complaint also says Sink's representatives met with the local club and discussed "goals and needs" of the campaign.

The Snedeker ad began a few weeks later.

Andy Stone, a spokesman for House Majority PAC, denied the charge, saying the local group did not fall under FEC regulation. "If the Congressional Leadership Fund wants to spend what few resources it has on frivolous legal complaints attacking an 81-year-old woman who's spent a lifetime speaking her mind, that's their prerogative."