April 30th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
15 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)
  1. monieq

    I have had enough of the Clintons, they are desperate for the nomination. Sentor Clinton and her husband have played games like that idoit George Bush, they play the same dirty politics that americans should be sick of. We need help in this country! Its not about Clinton,Obama, or Mccain. Theses canidates dont have the struggles that we do. We need a change in politics so that americans can work,feed our kids,provide healthcare for our family. Why cant this silly stuff stop and get to really what is important.

    April 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Gas Tax suspension

    I wish the Obamanaics wouldn't repeat their leaders ignorance that the average american will only save 27-30 dollars on this gas tax holiday plan. People wake up! Everything in this country is transported by 18-wheeler to its final destination. If the gas prices go down for truckers it is said to save over 2 billion dollars (2,000,000,000) in trasportation cost that will lower the cost of everything from food, to non-essential goods. It will save american faimlies like you and I more than the immediate trasportation cost of our own vehicle. Stop thinking about yourselves!! Hillary has the BEST plan!

    April 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. susie

    Gee whiz, Obama thinks he is above everyone else. The DNC did it to McCain but no one is allowed to go against Obama. Is he going to dis his wife, for the comments she said about America? How is he ever going to stand up in a general election? By the way, at the Tuesday's news conference he looked like he was reading off a script, was it from his 26 year old writer? Obama is nothing but a fake!

    April 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Sharon

    Clinton has to go negitive because that's all she knows.

    She can't talk about the issues because all she'll do is lie again.

    April 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Peter in PA

    Clinton has everything to loose if she doesn't throw muds at Obama!

    She claims to come from the state whereever the primary election is being held. Is this woman for real?

    Also, I can't seem to comprehend the mind/logic of Hillary supporters. Hillary outright lied about the Bosnia trip not once but three times...She thought her supporters are fools...

    April 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Mike from Westchester

    So a few rich indivuduals can put out ads that no one is really accountable for. I guess all the Hillary crowd is now endorsing the swift boat campaign that Rove ran against Kerry in 2004. Wow!!!!!!

    Have you any integrity at all?????????????

    April 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    WOW....... some of the comments here against Sen. Obama are downright hateful. Why all the hate, people? Since Bush took over, our country has slipped further and further into the 'hate-mongering-as-usual'..... one is not patriotic enough if you are not a Bush supporter, or a supporter of the war in Iraq..... etc., etc., please get a grip!

    And we say this IS a Christian nation?! Really?

    Once more to ALL those who condemn Sen. Obama because of his FORMER-pastor's words: since when do we condemn people for the words of others? In ALL religions there are nuts! Look at how Pat Robertson blamed the Katrina Hurricane of the gay parade! Or look at pastor Hagee who supports McCain, and how he hates Catholics! NO ONE IS MAKING A BIG DEAL about these nuts!

    How about Rush the Vote? Why is no one talking about Rush-hate-monger-Limbaugh's urging his "ditto-heads" to register and vote for Hillary??????? What about that?!

    Seems to me, that there are some very powerful people doing their very best to destroy a decent, brilliant man, Sen. Obama!

    April 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |





    April 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh goodness!

    So many scoundrels have hidden behind the 1st Amendement, it sickens me!!!

    April 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Liz

    What is Obama saying? Is the U.S. not a freedom of speech country? Is he afraid of negative comments? Why should Clinton and McCain have negative comments made about them but not him. Who does he think he is? Because he has now thrown his pastor under the bus, he feels that he can tell everyone else what they should say about him. I knew this would happen once he got into the race that he would be objecting to everything that anyone says about him and would use race as the major reason. If he can disown his mentor because he wants to make sure that he get the nomination that shows that he is only thinking about himself. That's why if he ever got into the White House, all his supporters will be soon forgotten because he got what he wanted and he does not care anymore. He is a selfish and self centred person and that type of person should not be supported.

    Clinton is the better and stronger candidate and the voters should support her.

    April 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Lisa

    Hillary supports.....WOW you guys are strong. This woman is a train wreck waiting to happen. She has too much baggage and she is not real keen on telling the truth. She's from AR, PA, and now IN or NC I can't keep up. She has you guys so wrapped up in the way she can manuever that your hypnotised. Snap Sanp Wake up.

    April 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. trellskig

    Good!! She is attacking Obama to much and someone needs to put a stop to it. So what if Bill was attacked when running, does two wrongs make a right? She needs to stop before they drop them both and place Edwards or Gore to run against McCain...lol

    April 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. kate, NM

    Sen. Obama, you are the nominee. But do not cry foul. You don't have any specific plan on anything, really. You're lucky that American people noticed it when it's too late. They and your whispering republicans, try to remember, made sure that McCain is the president. You are nothing more than a politician, looking for your name and fame without thinking about people during next 4 years.

    April 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Jay********

    Keep crying Obama, you know your ship is sinking faster than you thought!!!!!!!!!

    April 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. RSB

    I would like to see Obama fight back on her terms, meaning anything goes. The next time her camp (including McCain) wants to mention Rev Wright he could mention Lewinsky. She says you can pick your family and church and she would have left the church but she didn't leave Bill who lied to her, the American people and the court. He was impeached from the very office she is sending him out to campaign for her to get.
    I was very excited that a female was in contention for this office but I don't want everyone to think females are liers, cheaters and so manipulative. I don't want to be represented that way.
    As for debates, I think we've had enough. She says they can set the rules but we know what she thinks of rules. The last one was a joke. I think people want to hear how they all stand on the issues.
    And when you say Obama should put on a dress, what does that mean? When was the last time you saw Hillary in a dress?

    April 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Ruth -Az

    It seems to be hard for Obama to get past his own problems so he goes after HRC. This is proof that this guy is not ready for the big seat at the top of the hill. Hillary has what it takes to run the country. He is scared.

    April 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. plain jane

    Obama, you are just nothing but trouble! is this what america has to look forward with you as Prez......

    Act like a real man and not like a NAACP lawyer

    america has seen thru you and you are just getting down in the gutter now...

    YOUR chickens are coming home to roost OBAMA

    April 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Margaret

    Can we NOW expect some coverage of the facts in the Peter Paul v. Clinton case?

    April 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. tidho

    Never before has a member of the same party gone to such great lengths to undermine another. Keep in mind this is all coming after Obama wrapped up the delegate race.
    Think about that! Everytime Hillary opens her mouth it becomes more likely that McCain will win this election. Doesn't it seem like there might be more going on than her just being scrappy?

    April 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Jimmy O

    Please vote the Clintons for a third term. They deserve it, it is their birthright. The Bushes and the Clintons have to rule us forever. That is our destiny We do not deserve better. IN and NC do not let us down, join PA, and vote right, vote the Clintons.

    Though we impeached the Clintons for lying under oath, it is ok. Though the Clintons pardoned terrorists for political advantage, and felons for cash – it is ok. Though the Clintons have not released the names of the contributors to the Clinton Library Fund, it is ok.

    The Clintons and the Bushes Forever Network. Go Hillary! Go!!!

    April 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana


    April 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Patrick McIntire

    Poor Omama supporters. Another reason to cry and say Hillary will do anything. I sure hope she will do anything it takes. Being President is a tough person's job and clearly he isn't up to it.

    April 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. mike

    Hillary can't win by running a fair campaign so what do you expect.
    Republican playbook tactics worked years ago but they are old and people don't buy it anymore. Those who say Obamas is whining know not what they are talking about. He is being tough and smart and won't take Hillary's "stuff" lying down.

    April 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. vici joy

    How many people Obama will throw under the train before this election ends?

    Obama attached himself to Rev. Wright in his book as his spiritual leader when he was not so famous and tried to sell his book.

    Obama did not get mad because Rev. Wright said G..D… America, Obama did not get mad because Rev. Wright said US government create aid virus ….., Obama did not get mad because Rev. Wright said American bring 911 onto themselves. Obama get mad because Rev. Wright rip his phony mask off when he tells the whole world that Obama hide him at the basement to pray on the day of his candidacy announcement.

    Rev. Wright did not hurt Obama. Obama hurts Obama.

    April 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Ron L







    April 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14