The conservative Center for Competitive Politics filed a lawsuit Monday against the Federal Election Commission demanding a key redacted document in the case of Crossroads GPS, the politically active nonprofit linked to GOP strategist Karl Rove.
The FEC deadlocked last December in the closely watched case about whether Crossroads GPS should have to register as a political group and thus have to disclose its donors. But when the commission released the accompanying documents, along with its decision, a 76-page report from the FEC's general counsel was sealed. Each page was instead stamped "REDACTED."
The three Republicans on the commission pushed to release the pages, but Democrats blocked them. Since National Journal first reported on the missing pages in March, the Center for Competitive Politics filed a public-records request, which was denied.
The document, a first draft from the general counsel's office, would be closely analyzed by political attorneys for insights into the commission's thinking in cases of nonprofits. It could also serve as a road map for campaigns to avoid FEC enforcement.
On Monday, the right-leaning group sued to see the sealed pages.
"The FEC ignored the law and its own policies and regulations that require publication of the document," said David Keating, president of the group, in a statement. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.