FEC guidance to limit impact of dark money court ruling

October 04, 2018 - 4:09 pm

With a month to go until midterm elections, the Federal Election Commission is issuing new guidance related to the flow of untraceable campaign cash to so-called "dark money" groups.

It's a response to a recent court decision that found the agency improperly allowed "social welfare" nonprofits to skirt disclosure requirements for some donors.

Campaign finance activists had hailed the ruling as a transparency victory. But the memo issued Thursday is narrow.

It applies to anonymous donors to ad campaigns that advocate for, or against, a specific federal candidate. Those ads are called "independent expenditures."

It could affect a small segment of groups that continued to run ads after the ruling went into effect in September.

But experts predict those groups will find creative ways to avoid disclosure.