The Return of CREEP

By Wire News Sources on April 12, 2012

by Kim Barker

With 300-plus super PACs and counting, it would be easy
to miss CREEP. But last Thursday, a new super PAC ingeniously named the
Committee for the Re-Election of the President registered with the Federal Election
Commission.

The committee is based out of a post office box at
the Watergate Complex—an homage, of course, to the other Committee for
the Re-Election of the President, the fundraising committee for President Richard
Nixon that became embroiled in the Watergate scandal.

It’s an inside joke with a serious punchline. The
old CREEP (which used the acronym CRP and at one point was called the Committee
to Re-Elect the President) helped spur the creation of the FEC. The website for
CREEP Super PAC says it’s committed “to raising
voices not dollars” and advocates disclosure.

“It’s an excellent chance for people to step back
and say, ‘Are we happy with 40 years of campaign finance and the lack of
disclosure?’” said Robert Lucas, 22, founder of the new CREEP and a graduate
student in public policy at Georgetown University. “There’s a lot of irony,
with the 40th anniversary of Watergate and where we are now.”

The
latest FEC disclosures show that super PACs are forming at an accelerated pace,
taking advantage of court rulings in 2010 that opened the door to political
action committees that can raise unlimited amounts of money as long as they
don’t coordinate with a candidate.

Seven
new super PACs turned up yesterday morning alone, while one dropped out today, bringing
the tally to 324. Only 159 have reported raising or spending any money. Of
those, just 11 reported having more than million in their coffers in their
most recent filings with the FEC, led by GOP super PAC American Crossroads, which
had more than .5 million at the
end of February. (CREEP, being new, hasn’t reported raising any money, and
Lucas says he has no plans to do so.)

Another
27 super PACs reported having at least 0,000 in the bank. The rest seem to
be counting their pennies and hoping for a millionaire. (The Friends
for a Democratic White House PAC
, for instance, reported having only
.02.)

Several
of the money-less super PACs appear to be following the mocking trail blazed by
comedian Stephen Colbert with his super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. These
have names like Just Drink
the Koolaid
, Joe Six
PAC
,
Americans
for America,
and Americans
for a Better Tomorrow, Yesterday
.

Republican
frontrunner Mitt Romney’s decision to put his dog in a kennel strapped to the
roof of his car for a 1983
family vacation
has sparked the formation of four super PACs: DogPAC, Dogs
Against Romney
, I Ride
Inside
-The Pets Against Romney Committee, and, the latest in the
genre, Mitt Is
Mean
—The Animal Lovers Against Romney Committee.

Despite being accused of chronic deadlock and doing
nothing to rein in super PACs, the FEC has quietly taken action against certain
committees. It warned 15 for failing to file annual financial reports from
2011—unless they do, they’ll be off the list. (Which might mean the end
of super PACs such as the Brady Bunch PAC, Men Against Prostitution and
Trafficking
and the Bucket Tea Party Political Action Committee.)

The FEC also has shed 60 super PACs registered by
super PAC man Josue Larose.  All of Larose’s super PACs were terminated by the FEC on March 7,
apparently because they didn’t do much for a year. So farewell to the
Unites States Celebrities Super PAC, the United States Billionaires Super PAC and the Wall Street
Corporations Super PAC.

It was never quite clear what Larose was doing with
all his super PACs. They attracted virtually no donations. (One exception: the
,000 contributed by a PAC of employees of Contran Corp. to Larose’s Rick Perry 2012 Victory Committee
super PAC, which had nothing to do with Rick Perry. Contran
is run by billionaire Harold Simmons, the largest single donor to GOP
super PACs.)

Florida just filed more than 2,000 counts of state election violations
against Larose.  

So what does all this mean for the 2012 election? CREEP’s
back, but we won’t have Larose to kick around anymore.


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