Public Citizen and several progressive groups filed a complaint Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission, calling on the agency to take action against Chevron Corp. for $2.5 million the energy company gave to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC.
The Chevron contribution violated a “pay-to-play” prohibition on political contributions by federal contractors, alleges the complaint filed by Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth U.S., Greenpeace and Oil Change International. The Congressional Leadership Fund backs House GOP candidates and has received fundraising help from Republican leaders, including House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.
“By taking a strong stand against Chevron’s actions, the FEC would clearly signal to federal contractors and political organizations that trading cash for favors will not be tolerated,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said in a statement. Public Citizen also released an updated report dubbed “Super Connected” that documents close links between supposedly independent super PACs and the candidates and parties they back.
Congressional Leadership Fund Communications Director Dan Conston dismissed the complaint as an “obvious coordinated intimidation attack from the left masquerading as just one more utterly baseless complaint.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.