Republican Party of Kentucky cries foul on nonprofit that paid for anti-McConnell billboards

10/11/2017 05:00 PM

The Republican Party of Kentucky has filed a complaint against a group that paid for billboards critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Louisville recently, accusing Indivisible Kentucky of failing to file an independent expenditure report and disclose its donors.

In the complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission, RPK says the 501(c )(4) should be forced to disclose its donors and file independent expenditure reports for the more than $10,000 purchase in July.

The billboards include pictures of McConnell and the hashtag #DitchMitch2020, which the GOP says is meant to dissuade those who see the billboards from voting for McConnell in his next re-election cycle.

Indivisible Kentucky holds a social advocacy designation from the IRS, but RPK wrote in its complaint that the billboards “are explicit express advocacy in that they contain the campaign slogan or word advertisements that in context have no other reasonable meaning than to support or oppose a clearly identified candidate.”

“We take campaign finance law very seriously,” RPK communications director Tres Watson said in a statement.

“Indivisible Kentucky is running billboards that clearly advocate for the defeat of Senator McConnell while not reporting this expenditure to the FEC and hiding the identity of their donors from the public. This is as black-and-white as you get when it comes to violations of FEC rules.”

The group did not immediately return an email message seeking comment.

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