FEC Denies Tea Party Group Contribution Disclosure Exemption

The Federal Election Commission voted Thursday to deny the Tea Party Leadership Fund an exemption from disclosing its donors, Politico reported.

Courts have allowed the FEC to make exemptions for certain party candidates and political groups if donors might be harassed or punished as a result of disclosures.

The FEC has only granted one such exemption — to the Socialist Workers Party in 1990. The commission renewed the exemption in 2013. Separately, U.S. courts have deemed the Communist Party, the Socialist Action and the Freedom Socialist Party exempt from disclosure laws.

FEC commissioners said that the Tea Party group was a mainstream political movement, as opposed to the Socialist Workers Party, which only has a few donors, according to Politico. 

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