Swift Boat Veterans for Truth/Complaint to the FEC
In mid-August three campaign finance watchdog groups - Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center, Center for Responsive Politics - filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were in breach of restrictions applying to 527 committees. 
The complaint argues SBVT, as a registered 527 committee, should be bound by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 requirements. While noting that SVBT is not registered as a "federal political committee," the three groups argue that it should be. "SBVT is an entity which, as a 527 group, has a 'major purpose,' indeed an overriding purpose, to influence candidate elections, and more specifically, federal candidate elections, and which has spent, or is planning to spend, significant amounts of funds to influence the 2004 presidential election," it stated.
"This 'political committee' is therefore required to register with the Commission under the federal campaign finance laws, and is subject to the federal contribution limits and source prohibitions on the funds it receives. As a political committee, SBVT may not receive more than $5,000 per year from an individual donor, and may not receive any union or corporate treasury funds whatsoever," they argue. 
Spokesman for the SBVT, Mike Russell, told Associated Press that the advertisement is legal because it did not explicitly advocate a vote for a particular presidential candidate in the presidential race. 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Century 21, "Campaign Finance Groups File FEC Complaint Charging 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' Is Violating Federal Campaign Finance Laws," Common Dreams, August 10, 2004.
- Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center, Center for Responsive Politics, "Complaint to federal Election Commission against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,", August 10, 2004.
- Sharon Theimer, "Swift Boat Veterans' anti-Kerry ad prompts watchdog complaints," Associated Press (Lexington Herald Leader (KY)), August 11, 2004.