Two Republican lawyers say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have violated federal election law by appearing in an ad concerning climate change.
“It’s prohibited,” GOP campaign finance lawyer Jan Baran told the New York Sun.
The ad features Pelosi and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sitting in front of the U.S. Capitol and warns of the dangers of climate change. It has run about 300 times on cable and network TV since its April debut. Baran says the ad is illegal because Pelosi has a primary election on June 3 in California, and such ads cannot be aired with 90 days of an election if they are "coordinated" by an outside group -- in this case, the Alliance for Climate Protection. A coordinated ad is considered a campaign donation.
“She’s in the ad. That means it’s coordinated,” another GOP campaign finance attorney, James Bopp Jr., told the Sun. “I’m a guy that specializes in loopholes. I don’t know of any loopholes.”
The Alliance for Climate Protection was founded by Al Gore. Most corporations are barred from making donations to federal campaigns, and Bopp says even an unincorporated group would be limited to a single $2,300 gift for the primary. “This is no doubt way over $2,300,” he said.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said: “We were pleased to participate in the Alliance’s nonpartisan effort on climate protection. We didn’t coordinate with the Alliance and trusted they would run the ad only where it was proper and legal.”
A spokesman for the Alliance told the Sun: “We are confident that this ad is in compliance with all rules.”
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