Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig, a co-founder and the face of Mayday PAC, launched the super PAC in the run-up to the most recent election season and raised over $10 million in an attempt to prevent all super PACs — except, of course, his — from influencing elections.
“Yes, we want to spend big money to end the influence of big money,” Lessig said in a promotional YouTube video in May. “Ironic, I get it, but embrace the irony.”
Lessig and his super PAC failed spectacularly — spending 97 percent of its heap of cash on losing candidates.
But embrace this irony: the Center for Competitive Politics, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting free speech, has filed a complaint against Lessig’s Mayday PAC claiming that the organization dedicated to stricter campaign finance laws blatantly broke already-existing federal election law.
According to the complaint, Mayday PAC — the self-proclaimed “SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs” — made considerable ad buys in New Hampshire.
The complaint identifies at least a dozen Mayday PAC radio ads, television ads and mail solicitations supporting candidates for Congress.
“Many of these communications clearly and consistently failed to satisfy disclaimer requirements mandated by the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended, and Federal Election Commission regulations,” explained David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics.
At least eight radio advertisements neglected to announce that Mayday PAC was responsible for them, according to the complaint. Also, the complaint states, Mayday PAC failed to include various disclaimers required under federal law, and five ads failed to include mandatory information about who spent to run the ads.
“Mayday PAC also distributed mail pieces in Arizona that included non-compliant disclaimers,” Keating added.
The complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission late last week.
Keating noted in the complaint that Mayday PAC may well have committed other violations in mailings that his group hasn’t been able to review.
“Campaign finance laws are too complex, and now we have proof,” Keating said in an email to The Daily Caller. “If a Harvard law professor can’t figure it out, what hope is there for the average person who wants to form a political group?”
In 2012, Lessig testified in front of Congress, proclaiming: “I am a strong supporter of disclosure legislation.” However, Keating observes, his multimillion-dollar Super PAC repeatedly was unable to adhere to exactly this legislation.
“The hypocrisy is stunning,” Keating said.
“[N]o matter how silly or pointless these hyper-technical disclaimer requirements may seem, the law is the law,” the complaint filed by the Center for Competitive Politics Across notes. “Across the country, in every election year, thousands of speakers—many of which lack the multi-million dollar budgets of Mayday PAC or the legal expertise of its founder and staff—are expected to, and do, comply with these laws, often at great financial cost.”
Back in May, Lessig proudly publicized his anti-super PAC super PAC, saying he hoped to keep politicians from raising money “from the tiniest fraction of the ‘one percent.'” (RELATED: Harvard Prof Begs For Big Money For Super PAC To Fight BIG MONEY In Politics)
In June he announced that a handful of filthy rich patrons from the tiniest fraction of the “one percent” would each provide monetary gifts in the hundreds of thousands to his super PAC. (RELATED: Harvard Prof’s Anti-Big Money Super PAC Collects BIG MONEY From FILTHY RICH Leftists)