What begins at the national campaign level most often makes its way to the state and local campaign level…
Independent SuperPACs aren’t allowed to coordinate with campaigns, but according to this story by Chris Moody for CNN, anonymous public Twitter accounts were used to enable the sharing of sensitive information like polling data among Republican campaigns and groups.
The Twitter accounts were hidden in plain sight. The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities.
The law says that outside groups, such as super PACs and non-profits, can spend freely on political causes as long as they don’t coordinate their plans with campaigns. Sharing costly internal polls in private, for instance, could signal to the campaign committees where to focus precious time and resources.
A typical tweet read: “CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52–>49/476-10s.” The source said posts like that — which would look like gibberish to most people — represented polling data for various House races.
Posting the information on Twitter, which is technically public, could provide a convenient loophole to the law — or could run afoul of it.
As one campaign finance expert, Paul Ryan, commented, “It’s a line that has not been defined. This is really on the cutting edge.”