Report: GOP used dummy Twitter accounts to skirt campaign finance laws

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Gop_twitter

Image: Mashable composite. Wikimedia Commons

Republicans and pro-GOP funding groups used dummy Twitter accounts to share internal polling data, something that might run afoul of campaign finance laws, according to a report by CNN.

The accounts allegedly posted seemingly gibberish tweets such as “CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52—>49/476-10s,” which actually represented polling data on House races.

While parties can accept money from outside groups, such as non-profits and super PACs, they aren’t allowed to coordinate on where to spend the money. By sharing polling data publicly on Twitter, however, the groups reportedly signaled where funds were needed.

CNN reporter Chris Moody noticed and took screenshots of several accounts that apparently shared data this way in the run up to the midterm elections.

When Moody contacted the National Republican Congressional Committee to ask about the accounts, they were quickly deleted. An anonymous source told CNN that both the committee and at least two outside groups knew of the accounts.

It’s unclear if the accounts violated campaign finance laws but experts say they definitely came close to the line.

“This is really on the cutting edge,” Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told CNN. “It might not be legal. It’s a cutting edge practice that, to my knowledge, the Federal Election Commission has never before addressed.”

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Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/11/17/gop-dummy-twitter-accounts/

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