Who are No Labels’ donors? Democratic groups file complaints in an attempt to find out

WASHINGTON (AP) — For months, the centrist group No Labels has stockpiled cash and diligently worked to secure ballot access for a potential third-party presidential bid, striking fear among allies of President Joe Biden that the effort could siphon away votes and hand the White House to Donald Trump.

Now, with a rematch between Biden and Trump looking likely, two Democratic-aligned groups this week filed campaign finance complaints, hoping to crimp No Labels’ pipeline of campaign cash and force the group to follow the same rules as formal political parties.

The complaints, filed by the groups End Citizens United and Accountable.US, are part of a broader Democratic effort to ramp up legal scrutiny and elicit public scorn for No Labels as it teases a possible White House run by an as-of-yet unannounced ticket that many Democrats worry will play electoral spoiler.

“We are continuing to work every single avenue with our partners to hold (No Labels) accountable legally, to expose them publicly and to make sure they are playing by the same rules as everyone else,” said Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United. “I don’t think it’s any secret that No Labels is a threat to our democracy if they run a third-party (candidate). That’s going to siphon off votes from President Biden and reelect Donald Trump.”

In a statement, No Labels on Wednesday disputed any suggestion that the group had done anything improper and dismissed the complaints as part of a “coordinated conspiracy to subvert No Labels’ ballot access and limit Americans’ choices.”

No Labels regularly promotes itself as a “common sense” centrist political party with bipartisan support. But it is actually registered as a nonprofit with the IRS — not a formal political party. That has enabled No Labels to operate with limited transparency while accepting unlimited sums from an anonymous set of donors — a source of financing often referred to pejoratively as “dark money.”

If the Democrat-aligned groups are successful, No Labels would not only be compelled to register as a formal political party with the Federal Election Commission, but it would also have its tax-exempt status revoked, be forced to abide by the same donation amount limits as other political parties and be required to reveal its big-money donors.

That’s a big if.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *