A deadlock is seen as a victory to those accusing Senator Nelson of improperly coordinating campaign commercials with the Nebraska Democratic Party.
The Federal Election Commission deadlocked 3-3 on the request for an advisory opinion filed by American Crossroads, the political action committee operated by conservative Karl Rove.
American Crossroads submitted the request in wake of political campaign commercials run by Sen. Ben Nelson in cooperation with the Nebraska Democratic Party. American Crossroads accused Nelson of coordinating campaign advertisements with the state party, a violation of campaign regulations. To press the issue, American Crossroads asked the FEC if it could conduct like-campaigns.
American Crossroads spokesman, Nate Hodson, emphasizes the fact that the FEC didn’t approve the practice.
“When the FEC rules that something is not OK, what that signals to other outside groups who are looking at coordination is, you better be careful in this or you are going to face a litany of legal challenges,” Hodson tells Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Yet, the FEC didn’t condemn the Nelson practice either. Commissioners split along party lines.
Hodson says though the FEC couldn’t reach a conclusion, it didn’t look kindly on the practice.
“They basically said that what Ben Nelson had done was extremely risky, extremely questionable and skated around the edges of ethics,” according to Hodson.
The issue could become important in the 2012 elections, especially with numerous political action committee poised to funnel millions into the campaigns of favored candidates.
Kevin Thomas of KLIN contributed to this story.