Pay-to-Play Lives in FEC Decision Not to Enforce Ban on Political Contributions by Boca Prison Contractor The GEO Group
by Dan Christensen, Florida Bulldog, September 20, 2021
In a ruling that undermines an 81-year-old anti-corruption law prohibiting pay-to-play political contributions by federal contractors, an impotent Federal Election Commission in September 2021, disclosed that it allowed Boca Raton private prison contractor The GEO Group to get away with making hundreds of thousands of dollars of otherwise illegal contributions to Super PACs.
The Federal Election Campaign Act, passed in 1940, bars any person or firm negotiating or performing a federal contract from contributing “directly or indirectly” to any political party, committee, federal candidate or any person for any political purpose or use. The idea: to prevent undue influence in the awarding of taxpayer-funded contracts.
Super PACs, technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals. They can spend that money to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. They are not allowed to donate money directly to political candidates, and their spending cannot be coordinated with the candidates they benefit.
In 2016, Washington, D.C.’s Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the FEC against Rebuilding America Now, the primary pro-Trump Super PAC founded that year by then-Trump campaign manager Paul ...