Groups allege illegal coordination by Zinke
March 5, 2014
HELENA — Two Washington, D.C.-based advocacy groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing a U.S. House candidate in Montana of illegally coordinating with the political-action committee he created.
The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 allege television advertisements by Special Forces for America PAC that support Ryan Zinke's House bid include photographs that appear to come from the Zinke campaign.
The groups say republishing campaign materials is an in-kind contribution that federal law bars super PACs like SOFA from making. Candidates cannot coordinate with PACs to republish campaign materials.
Zinke's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Zinke created SOFA in 2012 to back candidates who support the military. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, resigned from the PAC before announcing his House run.