April 30th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama campaign files FEC complaint against pro-Clinton group

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/30/art.alpad1.cnn.jpg caption="A new Indiana ad hits Obama on economic issues."] (CNN) - Barack Obama’s campaign has filed a formal complaint over a pro-Hillary Clinton group running ads attacking the Illinois senator on jobs and the economy in the critical primary state of Indiana.

The American Leadership Project, which includes veterans of the Clinton administration and longtime supporters, is a “527,” which means it is not bound by federal campaign finance laws as long as it does not directly advocate on behalf of a particular candidate.

The group announced earlier this week that it was planning to buy $700,000 worth of airtime in the state leading up to Tuesday’s vote. It has aired other spots in support of Clinton in key primary states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas.

The Obama campaign planned a conference call this morning with general counsel Bob Bauer to discuss the specifics of the complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission.

(updated with ALP response after the jump)

Several weeks ago, the Obama campaign used the group in its own fundraising appeals, sending supporters a plea for donations that pointed to actions by “Swift Boat-style groups and smear campaigns.”

“News broke yesterday that a few wealthy Clinton supporters are gearing up for a massive spending campaign to boost her chances in the big upcoming contests in Texas and Ohio on March 4th,” wrote David Plouffe in an e-mail message.

“The so-called ‘American Leadership Project’ will take unlimited contributions from individuals and is organized the same way as the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” he added.

The move marks at least the third time this week that representatives of a presidential candidate or national party campaign committee have filed - or threatened to file - FEC complaints over attack ads.

UPDATE: ALP released a response from their lawyers Wednesday afternoon. They said that the group did not fall under the legal definition of a "political committee" as defined by federal election laws because its stated goal was not to elect or defeat a specific candidate, but "to raise public awareness of vital public policy issues affecting America's middle class."

soundoff (343 Responses)

    Obama is doing his best to take this nation to a higher level of morality, but so many resist this, their minds can not rap around the concept of peace, fairness and oneness, they see this as weakness!

    WOW! What does this say about us as a nation! Let me attempt to explain how this work overall.

    You do unto others as you would have them do to you!
    You treat your neighbor with love and respect
    You don't harm anyone that is not harming you!
    You do your best to be at peace with ALL people, it at ALL possible!

    These are not ideas off the top of my head or Obama's for that matter, they are God's. And you all ask if Obama is a Christian, he is more a Christian than Hillary, John McCain and most.

    April 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Jason Horse

    Billary Clinton, ooops Hillary Clinton, whats the dif?
    give it up, dirty, discreet, and down right different from OBAMA 08


    In spirit
    Horse in Canada

    April 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Lisa

    "Proud American" WHAT???? Did you read your statements that you posted? You sound just like Hil"LIAR"Y. Grow up and be reasonable.

    April 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Tom - GA

    One more example why this cry baby will not win in the
    General Election. Poor Obama got a bobo. LOL
    Only Hillary can withstand hits like this and not run to the FEC.

    Hillary 2008

    April 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Life long democarat

    it seems to me that Hillary crys alot.. she want more debates- give me a break!!

    Obama 09-16

    April 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. mitch from ark.

    good.negative attack ads,with no truth behind them,are disgusting.these people are just a conglomerate of clinton 'machine',leftovers,who will say and do everything,to get hillary elected.problem is,they're too late!they can't win,so they resort to tactics,that only hurt their own party.give it up,losers.

    April 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. HH

    This is the same slime group that ran the health care ad in PA. They are maxed out donors now formed as a 527. SHAME ON YOU HILLARY. SHAME ON YOU.

    April 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Jolene

    The Hillary supporters sound like dittoheads. "If you can't stand the heat..." calling Obama a wimp or a whiner. Is there a Hillary talking point memo that goes out every morning?

    April 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    Clinton is the best when it comes to playing "dirty" politics! That's about all she's the best in!

    April 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Bob of VT

    ANOTHER Negative AD from Hillary...she just keeps proving that she knows she is losing! Evidently, Negative Ads are all she now has to rely on, only becaused they worked a couple of times.
    Well, people live and learn, and by now any normal intelligent person will hold this negativity against HER as they are no longer fooled by these Ads. Hillary's Deceit, Lies and Dirty last minute Ad tricks will not help her in the long run.

    April 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Gal

    Somehow some way...she alwyas gets away with it.
    To those mentioning Paul vs Clinton...I think there must be a news blackout or something as all MSM are afraid to touch it.

    April 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Reze, in the middle

    All you truly an American, are just when its convenient?

    All gruops whether its the 527's, Rush L, or whom every..if it interferes with the process, its un American.

    Our country has real issues that need to be solved. We do not need lies out there for any candidiate.

    American needs to get back to loving and seeking after the truth.

    Americans, do your homework! Don't beiieve either side until you have checked out the facts..turn off these news stations that report biasely for one candidate or another and seek the truth.

    Let's grow up AMERICA!

    April 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. scared of her

    Well, it won't be the first FEC fine for Hillary's camp. The FEC already fined Hillary for illegal campaign contributions re: the Paul V. Clinton case.

    April 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. MJAMES

    Haven't people noticed since Super Tuesday the entire focus of the Clinton campaign is negativity against Barack Obama. All she EVER does is cut him down, constantly. Every time I see Clinton in the news these days it is always to lay some cheap shot false claim against Obama. If she was so great she could run on her own record and ideas but instead all she knows how to do is destroy a fellow democrat.

    Hillary/Rove&McCain&Hannity 08!

    April 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Concerned supporter

    The presidential campaigns are about "win or lose" in the end, but the way to manage clearly shows the leadership characters, which must have integrity. Unfortunately, many people are blindly convinced that Sen. Clinton's messages are based on true facts and honest judgments.

    I agree that Sen. Clinton is very smart, but am very discouraged by her negative ways and messages, most of which are actually not true. If she were as great as Clinton supporters believe, she would win without running dirty tactics. She should be better and know better than what she is doing now.

    Many of today's news say Clinton and McCain's propositions of energy/gas are a bad idea. I think now as we have so many problems, we should stop using despicable words tearing down any candidates (either Clinton or Obama) and focus on what the best for the country.

    April 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Grif

    Here's another AD, Mr! " Obama Damaged Merchandise"..

    April 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Frank

    Neither candidate is a stellar performer. At ths point, Hilary should be out of the race and let the dems vs reps take its course. She is so power hungry, she wants to rewrite the rules so she can screw up all of America. I would vote for ANYONE before Hilary.

    April 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. NickNas

    YEP!! Been waiting for these to show up. Hillary has gone full out Rovian Republican on a member of what we are to believe is a member of her own team. Hillary is NOT a Democrat she is just running as one ...Hillary is a CLINTONCRAT (C) Wake up people she is the worst thing that could happen to this country and that INCLUDES Bush for another term!

    April 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    That Paul case, Hillary Clinton is not a plaintiff. She was dismissed as being part of the legal action in October 2007 by the California Court of Appeal. Just check the record.

    April 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Maggie

    We have missed the whole point of the Rev. Wright issue. Obama had him on his staff, Obama claimed him as an Uncle, Obama wrote about how Rev. Wright was his inspiration. I do not recall reading anything in Clintons' book stating such facts about her pastor, nor did Clintons pastor donate funds to her campaign.

    April 30, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Kaylee

    Hillary has proven the utmost incompetence with running her campaign!
    How can you have the brand "Clinton", 100 millions of dollars and be in debth. And to think that people want to trust running the country to her amazes me.
    At least Obama has the executive savvy to run his campaign and come from nowhere to be in such a strong position.

    He makes the right decisions more often than not.

    April 30, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. AJ, IL

    Ban all 527s!

    Most 527s are run by the rich and well-connected! Not ordinary Americans!

    Obama in 2008!

    April 30, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Lynn

    Obama is weak !!!!!

    April 30, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Tony

    Go Hillary

    April 30, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Allen

    I hope after all of this hate talk about your respective candidates you all will support the democratic nominee and end this war.

    Go Dems!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 30, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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