FEC Won’t Review AHF’s Complaint Over Foreign Donations

FEC Won’t Review AHF’s Complaint Over Foreign Donations
Rhett Pardon

WASHINGTON — The Federal Election Committee yesterday dashed the hopes of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which was counting on the panel to revisit the issue of foreign money donated to a group opposed to the 2012 “Safer Sex” Measure B ballot measure.

Earlier in the year, the Federal Election Commission deadlocked on whether to dismiss allegations that MindGeek illegally contributed funds to oppose Measure B.

The AHF charged in its original complaint that $327,000 in donations made by two MindGeek divisions, both located abroad, violated the Federal Election Campaign Act, which prohibits foreign nationals from donating to U.S. campaigns. 

Yesterday, the panel said that it was unable to revisit the AHF's complaint without the required four affirmative votes.

MindGeek’s donations were part of nearly $700,000 in funds earmarked to fund the No on Government Waste, No on Measure B campaign to help topple the 2012 Los Angeles County ballot initiative over mandatory condoms on porn shoots.

MindGeek’s U.S. division, along with its Froytal Services Ltd., made donations of $252,000 and $75,000 respectively to help an attempt to defeat Measure B.

But Measure B was voted in to law by a wide margin — passing with 57 percent of voters in favor (1,617,866 votes in favor vs. 1,222,681 votes against).

MindGeek earlier argued that the Federal Election Campaign Act does not prohibit the foreign national donations at issue in this case because the money was directed at a ballot measure election, not a candidate election.