AIPAC and the Federal Election Commission

Renee Parsons

Reviewing AIPAC’s history since its 1963 creation reveals a consistently well organized campaign of manipulation and evasion of the US election law as one necessary ingredient to its invincible image on Capitol Hill. The American Israel Political Affairs Committee has long claimed it is not a political action committee, that they do not endorse candidates nor provide financial donations to political campaigns. As with all things involving AIPAC, there is another side to the story.

As the result of a 1988 Sixty Minutes interview by Mike Wallace, it became clear that AIPAC had a long history of involvement in US electoral politics as it targeted non-AIPAC members of Congress for defeat with the use of “80 shell-front pro-Israel PACs.” Unfortunately, Wallace never inquired whether AIPAC was in compliance with the Federal Election Commission laws. It comes as no surprise to know they were not and continue to resist efforts at accountability or adhering to the standard rule of registering as a foreign entity.

Soon after Sixty Minutes aired, a memo written by AIPAC’s Deputy Political Director Elizabeth Schrayer in 1986 became public. In that memo, Schrayer instructed her assistant to direct AIPAC affiliated PAC’s; that is those PACs with non- identifiable AIPAC names, to channel political donations into the campaigns of AIPAC’s favored candidates.

The Wall Street Journal would later estimate that AIPAC donated more than $7 Million to candidates during the 1986 election cycle in violation of US election law.

The Sixty Minutes interview and Schrayer’s memo provided the necessary incentive for legal efforts to require AIPAC to conform to US election law. An Administrative Complaint was filed in 1989 with the Federal Election Commission on behalf of seven retired US Government officials citing a “consistent, long standing pervasive pattern of violating numerous provisions” of Federal Election Campaigns Act of 1971 and that these “violations are part of a concerted effort to influence Congress to take actions that favor the state of Israel.”

The Complaint Petitioners included former US Ambassadors James Akins and Andrew Killgore, former Deputy Secretary of State George Ball, former USIA Richard Curtis, former US Rep. Paul Findlay, Robert Hanks, ret.US Navy Admiral, and former Amideast President Orin Parker.

In addition, the Complaint identified 24 pro-Israel PACs that acted as shell-front affiliates and participated in a “campaign of collusion” in order to evade FEC’s legal reporting requirements. With the participation of innocuous sounding PAC’s such as San Franciscans for Good Government PAC or the Desert Caucus, all of which were organized by AIPAC from the ground up, AIPAC was able to funnel generous contributions beyond the $10,000 legal limit per PAC. AIPAC’s cover was sufficient to influence the outcome of numerous elections without the donation being publicly attributed as pro-Israel. AIPAC alleged that the affiliated PACs were part of its membership and not a political organization as it refused the FEC request to open their financial records for inspection.

From its 1989 filing, the Complaint took a complicated and circuitous route between the FEC and the Courts over the next twenty years. The initial FEC ruling found ‘probable cause’ that although AIPAC had violated elements of federal election law by spending money to influence elections, it found that electoral politics was not a ‘major purpose’ of the organization. Therefore, the FEC determined there was no need for AIPAC to register as a political action committee.

Litigation took the Complaint to a federal District Court, followed by a three member Court of Appeals panel, both of which sided with the FEC until a full Circuit Court of Appeals 8-2 decision ruled in favor of the Complainants in 1996. That decision found that the ‘major purpose’ clause was inapplicable, it ordered the FEC to enforce US election law and require AIPAC to comply with federal disclosure requirements. The case was then remanded back to the FEC – even though the FEC had “misapplied the law” in its 1992 decision.

At some point after the original Complaint was filed, AIPAC shrewdly made ‘structural changes’ to its definition of membership which strengthened the argument that they were predominately a membership organization. At about the same time, the FEC also revised its membership regulations to a looser standard. It was all a brilliantly manipulative legal move as AIPAC claimed its outreach to affiliated PACs was only communicating with its ‘members.’

The US Solicitor General Seth Waxman appealed the Court of Appeals decision on behalf of the FEC to the Supreme Court which “declined to decide the case on the merits” with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the dissent. In 1998, the Supreme Court vacated the earlier Circuit Court decision and remanded the case back to the FEC pending a review of the new membership definition for a final determination – and you can guess how that went.

The litigation continued until 2001 when the Complainants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment filing a Statement of Material Facts Not in Genuine Dispute which reads, in part, like a political thriller with details of AIPAC targeting identified Members of Congress.

Meanwhile, the Commission decided that “further investigation would not be an appropriate use of the Commission’s limited resources” and in “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion ,” the Commission on a 6-0 vote closed the file.

The final bitter end of litigation did not come until September, 2010 when a federal District Court Memorandum Opinion regurgitated the entire convoluted twenty year history in excruciating detail.

This is not a complete list but it is, from an earlier era, AIPAC’s most successful efforts to defeat elected Members of Congress who did not support the Israeli agenda. It is an impressive list:

Sen. William Fulbright (D-Ark) in 1974, Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill) and Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey (R-Calif) in 1982, Senators Charles Percy (Ill), Sen. Harrison Schmitt (NM) and Walter Huddleston (Ky) in 1984, James Abdnor (R-SoD) in 1986 and Sen. Chic Hecht (Nevada) in 1988.

In 1990, Representative Gus Savage (D-Ill) took to the House floor and exposed how AIPAC had attempted to sabotage his re-election including the use of non-AIPAC shell-front PACs to fund his opposition. And more recently Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s primary defeats in 2002 and 2006 were attributed to AIPAC opposition.

During the 1988 Sixty Minutes interview, AIPAC Executive Director Tom Dine boasted that “‘All the Jews in America from coast to coast gathered to oust Percy, and the American politicians – those who hold public positions now and those who aspired – got the message.’”

Today, there is little doubt that Tom Dine’s message has been heard loud and clear as today’s Members of Congress cower and acquiesce to AIPAC’s insatiable demands as the organization has refined its efforts with substantial donations and whatever it takes to assure the election of candidates who are, first and foremost, loyal to Israel.

In other words, thanks to the FEC, Israel owns the US Congress.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


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K Lee
K Lee
Apr 18, 2019 8:22 PM

I miss when our media was this refreshingly autonomous. 60 Minutes used to strike fear in the hearts of the corrupted… those that had a heart.

Martin Short did a great spoof on it:

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Apr 16, 2019 12:22 PM

Ramdan: thanks for the link to CJ’s peice. You’re right – no person can change another one…. We can only change ourselves. Wherever you are on this Planet, I hope you have an enjoyable, pleasant day. Appreciate your reply.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Apr 16, 2019 3:33 AM

Did the Labour Party have a ‘Labour Friends Of South Africa’ back in the 1970s and 80s? Did they oppose Apartheid back then? Ohhh, penny drops, Tony Blair and his bunch of Neoliberalist, Idpol, jellified dogmatists came along. Those who belong to Labour Friends Of Israel would also be Blair acolytes as well? Correct?

Apr 15, 2019 8:56 PM

There are some 1,740 PACs in the US, none of which have the sort of power over our government/country like the Arab oil lobbies. Yet, the only one targeted is the Israeli one. Not that this has anything to do with Jews…

Apr 15, 2019 11:42 PM
Reply to  dhfabian

“Targetted” by whom? By those who dislike seeing a body of racist, bloodthirsty, colonizing mongrels, of some ancient Jewish blood admixed with a heck of a lot of assorted Turkic opportunism, shit on a bunch of their overrun neighbours in a nightmarish, ressentimental re-enactment of their own prior misfortunes? What’s wrong with “targetting” like that, boo hoo?

George Cornell
George Cornell
Apr 16, 2019 3:29 AM
Reply to  dhfabian

You’ve made this claim before. Might you now provide some evidence that the Arab oil lobby as you call it, has engineered the defeat of any anti-oil candidate? And any pro-Jewish candidate, or pro- Israel candidate? A simple list would do as whatever you say will be scrutinized carefully. If you do not reply, it would serve to confirm suspicions you are a hasbara troll.

Apr 16, 2019 10:05 PM
Reply to  dhfabian

Rubbish! Don’t you ever tire of writing barefaced lies?

Off Anything
Off Anything
Apr 19, 2019 2:49 AM
Reply to  dhfabian

+dhfabian: The “Arab oil lobby” is a drop in the bucket compared to the Israeli lobby. We know who is responsible for most of today’s problems. Wes Clark – America’s Foreign Policy “Coup” [Fora]

05:10: “This country was taken over by a group of people with a policy Coup. Wolfowitz, and Cheney and Rumsfeld and you can name a half-dozen other collaborators from the Project for New American Century (most of the following are dual-citizens of US and Israel) William Kristol, Robert Kagan [husband of Victoria Nuland involved in the Ukraine coup d’état], Randy Scheunemann, Ellen Bork, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Timothy Lehmann, Michael Goldfarb, Elliot Abrams Lawrence Kaplan, Dov Zakheim]. They wanted us to destabilize the Middle East. Turn it upside down, make it under our control…” 
6:05: We’re failing in Iraq because Iran and Syria know about the plan. All you have to do is read the (Kristol owned) Weekly Standard and then listen to Bill Kristol and he blabbermouths it all over the world… 
06:20 “Kristol, Perle… they can hardly wait to finish Iraq so they can move into Syria…”

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Apr 15, 2019 3:14 PM

Yes, it becomes increasingly clear that anyone who publicly brings to light the glaring anomalies, abuses and lies, which are steadily becoming more self-evident, and which the PTB in the west are desperate to stop, becomes immediately targeted by a relentless campaign of ad hominem attacks on their motives and personalities.

This contemporary orthodoxy is guarded by the high-priests of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism which somewhat resembles the catholic church’s hounding of heretics in times gone by. This has the effect of limiting freedom of speech which can only survive illegally in freedom of thought which the PTB feel less able to police and control Quite soon we will have to communicate our thoughts – at least those which impinge negatively on the official orthodoxy – by passing around Samizdat publications in secret, as was the case in the Soviet Union.

In Orwell’s dystopian novel,1984, there was reputedly an undergound – the Brotherhood – where the collective writings of Emmanuel Goldstein the leader and author of ”The Practice and Theory of Oligarchic Collectivism.” were passed around in volumes covered in brown paper so as not to arise suspicion. The brown paper was to trick the thought police that the book was simply about pornography which nobody would read – apart from the Proles of course, but they were beneath suspicion, so the thought police didn’t bother.

Start to get a supply of brown paper and sellotape.

Apr 15, 2019 4:58 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

I still fear that all this is “becoming increasingly clear” to us, but not to the general public, which can’t be bothered to look in the sort of places where such information is shared.
That said, there absolutely had to be an explanation of why, suddenly, the whole western world lost its head and started to do incomprehensible things on the world stage – and here is the explanation.
The symptoms explain the disease, just as sneezing, coughing, having a fever and watering eyes would tend to explain the common cold, with a one-in-a-million chance it just might be the Black Death.
Coincidence does not give rise to what we are seeing right now in the 21st Century.

Apr 15, 2019 6:08 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Disease is the correct word, this is a disease infecting all of humanity, regardless of religious persuasion, and it must be exposed and dealt with appropriately. The Labour Friends of Israel and the Conservative Friends of Israel are a similar disease, which must also be exposed and dealt with. This power must be reigned in, or our world will continue to become an evermore hostile place, thanks to these criminals. Those politicians who enable these crimes must be exposed for the despicable traitors they are and all power chains cut for good

Apr 16, 2019 12:52 AM
Reply to  wardropper

Not long ago a French guy was praising the “outstanding advances and development achievemnets of humanity”. This is the standard perception of the western population.
I couldn’t rafrain and ask him “what development are you talking if more than half of the world population is dying?’

Tecnological advancement has been portrayed as indicator of human evolution and intelligence. We chose radical mechanistic views, radical science and in the process we emptied our own humanity.

We wanted to think of ourselves as above and beyond everything, capable of everything, in control until now when the result of mankind hubris is backfiring.
Human values and virtues had been on a steady decline long ago, which only now is being revealed. This is the result of our cultural (in)evolution, of sociological values and perspectives.

Humanity, the human race has not evolved a bit in the last 2000 years.

Because of psychological inertia people still hold onto the rossy view fed into them by Powers and even when confronted with undeniable evidence, due to the schizophrenic fragmentation that has been breed, people actually deny the ugly and take refuge in their own delusion: It’s fear, is the result of fear steaming from ignorance.
And the ‘Powers that be’ have always rely on this fear and continue to instill more fear, it’s the perfect recipe to mantain the status quo.
They are like a blind guiding another.

The change can only come after acceptance of reality, and that is a personal thing. No amount of explanation can give sight to a blind.
We’ve been warned many, many, many times but we (humans) were deaf, were blind.
Unfortunately, only through personal catastrophe can the blind see….and ,sadly, seems this is the path we are going.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Apr 16, 2019 2:38 AM
Reply to  Ramdan

Ramdan: sadly, you’re spot on Ramdan. I see a very dark, dystopian future dead ahead also. “No amount of explanation can give sight to the blind”. I have friends, both white collar, live in a $1 million house, overseas holidays at least every 2nd year, drive a BMW and Mercedes, and it dosn’t matter what I’ve said, the many explanations I’ve given, the war crimes committed by the Empire, and the stock answer every time is “we support liberal democracy” and “Capitalism has been good for us”. Mention Yemen or Gaza or Internet censorship and its just stony silence. There is nothing to discuss. I gave up explaining a couple years ago, realised it was completely pointless. Too blind to see, coz they are too comfortably off. And yeah, I have been trying to detach from them as well.

Apr 16, 2019 4:03 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezzah, from my part, I see the dystopia unfolding already.
There is a post here in OffGuardian that puts it very clear (and with better english than mine!!)

“People already know the truth … the “official truth”, which is the “only” truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.”


No person can change another one. This has to come from inside. We can only say, it and say it and say it again. It might feel frustrating but from time to time there is someone that listens.

Apr 15, 2019 2:43 PM

It’s fascinating how the ‘anti Semetic’ line of attack in the US mirrors that in the UK. Yet the American progressives have already made bold steps that would have them suspended and villified if they said it here! Omar is indeed threatened by POTUS no less but it seems the American political system is much stronger than ours and she remains free to speak. Here those who say the Israeli anti-Semetic attack on the Labour left is organised are immediately suspended and effectively GAGGED for however many months or even years the ‘investigation’ takes.

Apr 15, 2019 2:19 PM

Information that most knew for quite some time but thank you for detailing the procedures and outlining the power of the Israeli state over US decision making .We now know why the US embassy is being moved to Jerusalem and Trump went against a UN resolution to give himself the power to donate Syrian land to Israel . The infiltration and control of the Khazarian mafia into Western politics is now complete .My country , and yours also.

john thatcher
john thatcher
Apr 16, 2019 11:35 AM
Reply to  summitflyer

Spare us the “Khazarian” crap summitflyer,this is a serious comment sight not a purveyor of lunatic theories like “the Jews are not Jews they are Khazarians” crap.

Apr 22, 2019 2:28 AM
Reply to  john thatcher

The “lunatic theories” I found right here, on the Hebrew identity:
Who is a Judean? Who is a “Jew”?
Only these persons may be defined as Judeans:
1. A member of Judah’s tribe, when the Hebrew people was divided into tribes.
2. An inhabitant of Judea country when it existed as a state entity.

It is important to mention that, throughout history, the anti-Semites adopted pejorative and offending names towards the Hebrews, derived from the word Judean, like:
Jew, Jude, Juif, Jidan.
We, the Hebrews of our days, should not accept, and, of course, should not use, the above pejorative names.
We are Hebrews, Hebräer, Hebreux, Ebrei etc., as the ethnic Hebrew actually calls himself…

After two thousand years, the Hebrew people has returned to its Hebrew homeland, language, nationality, …
… And we find http://www.hebrewidentity.org/en/?page_id=136
“The conversion to the Mosaic Religion is not a process or a procedure of joining the Hebrew people.
Thus, if tomorrow a rabbi will convert… as in the past the Khazars, after converting to the Mosaic Religion, became Mosaics by religion but remained Khazars by nationality, and never became Hebrews.”
If never become Hebrew, their descendants never become Jews but remain Khazars, IS IT???
However, we find that Hebrews are no longer living people!
“Hebrew, any member of an ancient northern Semitic people that were the ancestors of the Jews.”

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Apr 15, 2019 2:14 PM

So, Ilhan Omar got it right, and created near hysteria when she spoke the truth about United States politicians being literally bought property of Israel. Anyone who dosn’t sufficiently bow to the requirements of Israel is ‘sorted out’ at the following election. In other words, they need to find a new career. In Australia the same thing has happened with an outspoken Labor Party politician Melissa Parke who has spoken up in defence of Palestine, and been highly critical of the Israeli occupation; nearly the only person in the Australian Parliament to do so. Well, Melissa Parke has just been dumped by Labor after howls of outrage from you know who…. the Israeli lobby here in Aussie. Despite being the sitting MP for the seat of Curtin, Parke failed to gain preselection for her own seat. Its not just in the United States; its everywhere. I watched The Lobby late last year via Dissident Voice website, and what an eye opener that was. What they will do to censor and smear and silence people, including of course hurling the ‘anti semitic’ slur.

Apr 15, 2019 2:46 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

It is not just Australia , it is all over the West .When the anti Semitic card is brought up ,they should be asked if they are Palestinian , as the Palestinians are Semitic , and DNA has shown very differently for the Eastern European people that call themselves Jews .One only needs to read some history by Eastern European Jews no less to verify this. Ilan Pappe , Arthur Koestler ,just a few . The root of the people that refer to themselves as Jewish is not Semitic.
This information has been obscured in literature and now on the internet .
This does not mean that people that are of the Judaic religion are bad or any worst that anyone else .But I have a problem with the reference of Palestine being their land .

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Apr 16, 2019 2:54 AM
Reply to  summitflyer

Summitflyer: I have a big problem with that also, and especially the barbarity heaped upon the Palestinians themselves; the murder of children, people in wheelchairs, many many unarmed protesters, on and on. And also agree that censorship of the internet is only going to increase…. The truth must be smothered so us plebs don’t find out. Look how many videos are being removed by You Tube for example.

Apr 16, 2019 11:16 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Hi Gezzah,
Here is a video that hasn’t been removed yet. Please share it far and wide. The sooner this information seeps through to the sleeping plebs, the sooner the Zionist cursed Hydra will lose it’s power.

I also want to make an observation here… That the reason people are so ‘apathetic” is that when they seek information, on sites like Off Guardian is that they are subjected to intellectual verbal effluviant from those like ‘Binra’ and ‘BigB’… who quite frankly make me give up the will to live. They may have points to make but God only knows what they are, because they are lost in the verbiage.. and it hurts even my brain to identify just what they are.
They aim well over the heads of most people and confuse the subject to such a degree that the majority of people just shut down.
Which makes me wonder – is that the purpose.. and who are they working for?
We need to get out there just what we are up against. The Zionists ARE the greatest evil on this earth and it is really time that WE all joined forces against them, and put them back in the box from whence they came. We are not powerless… B.D.S. NOW!!!
They do not want peace… they want to wipe out all but their own poisoned tribe. If you don’t believe it.. take a look at America and the UK.. They haven’t lost their homes and jobs, and they aren’t sleeping on the streets and relying on food banks.. They haven’t been supplied with drugs and alcohol to mush their brains and keep them compliant.

Please open and digest what is in this video, and share it.
”Zionist files – Hasbara provocateurs, shills and trolls.”

Then investigate the Aljazeera Israeli Lobby videos 1 – 4
Start here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceCOhdgRBoc
If people are not incensed and prompted to act, then they deserve ALL that the Zionist have in store for them. IMO.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Apr 16, 2019 1:04 PM
Reply to  Maggie

Maggie: thanks Maggie, appreciate the links. I already watched The Lobby late last year – Dissident Voice website posted all 4 parts, and saw it there. Yes, what the Zionists do to censor and smear those who stand up for Palestine, and who oppose the slaughter and war crimes committed against Palestinians. Mind boggling. At an Australian independent website, there are numerous hardcore zionist trolls, who repeatedly labelled me a ‘jew hater’ an ‘anti semitic’ a fan of Islamic terrorists, a supporter of Hamas, on and on. It was relentless. One of them claimed he reported me to Mossad. So yeah, I started using this pseudonym and commenting on other sites like OffGuardian, The Saker, Consortium News, etc. Its scary scary shit Maggie. I should really join an actual organisation like Australian Friends Of Palestine, be around like minded people.

Apr 16, 2019 8:20 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Hya Gezza, My advice is to ignore the name calling. You know and all who read tour posts, that you are not what they would label you. But many of them ARE liars and cheats as can be proved by history.

”Few people know the facts about the singular event that helped spark what ultimately became known as World War II – the international Jewish declaration of war on Germany shortly after Adolf Hitler came to power and well before any official German government sanctions or reprisals against Jews were carried out. The March 24, 1933 issue of The Daily Express of London (shown above) described how Jewish leaders, in combination with powerful international Jewish financial interests, had launched a boycott of Germany for the express purpose of crippling her already precarious economy in the hope of bringing down the new Hitler regime. It was only then that Germany struck back in response. Thus, if truth be told, it was the worldwide Jewish leadership – not the Third Reich – that effectively fired the first shot in the Second World War. Prominent New York attorney Samuel Untermyer (above right) was one of the leading agitators in the war against Germany, describing the Jewish campaign as nothing less than a “holy war.”
They wanted to remove Hitler who had been Chancellor and knew who was squeezing the life out of the country, just as the Zionist Banks have continued to do to this day. It was because he tried to bring in measures to curb them that they ramped up the pressure resulting in innocent Hasidic Jews being lumped together with the Zionists and it was these impoverished people who succumbed to the diseases and lack of food caused by
sanctions.. What always confused me was how many survived… if Htller wanted them dead???

It was horrific no one can say any different, but WAR IS HORRIFIC and they were not the only ones who suffered.

Then lied through their teeth about what happened to them.
The 6.000.000 Myth exposed:

I think it would be a brilliant idea if we all joined Friends of Palestine. I will look into that tomorrow.

Apr 15, 2019 6:20 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Brendon O Connell is an Aussie authority on Israel, he has done time for speaking out. He has done amazing work, including exposure of the Israeli “Talpiot” programme. Talpiot is all about Israeli dominance of the tech sector (nearing completion), how they achieved this by stealing many corporate and military secrets from the US, only to sell them to the US’s enemies, Russia and China. I recommend viewing as much as you can find on him from YT. Here is one of his films