Who Really Gave $12 Million to FreedomWorks Super-PAC?

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A Tea Party supporter from Brunswick, Georgia, stands outside the Supreme Court.

Two groups advocating for stronger campaign finance laws, the Campaign Finance Institute and Democracy 21, have asked the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission to look at two companies that contributed $12 million to the Tea Party-aligned FreedomWorks’ super-political action committee.

The companies, Specialty Group Inc. and Kingston Pike Development LLC, were both formed by William S. Rose of Knoxville, Tennessee, in September, and then began contributing to the super-PAC.

The advocacy groups want Justice and the FEC to investigate whether the companies were set up solely to hide the sources of the campaign contributions.

“These companies appear to have been created to hide the identities of one or more donors that pumped millions of dollars into a super-PAC anonymously in the final weeks before an election,” said Paul Ryan, senior counsel with the Campaign Legal Center.

FreedomWorks’ chairman, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, left the organization after the election.

A super-PAC supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney received contributions from limited liability companies that disguised the interests of the donors, who turned out to be payday lenders. A $1 million donation by W Spann LLC turned out to have been given by Edward Conard, a former Bain Capital LLC colleague of Romney’s.

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