Republicans Used Twitter to Allegedly Skirt Campaign Finance Regulations

Republicans and outside groups are alleged to have used anonymous Twitter accounts to share polling data which may have violated campaign finance laws.

CNN reports the information was posted on publicly available Twitter profiles, which raises questions about whether the groups were illegally coordinating with the GOP. The groups involved included the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House GOP, American Crossroads, the Super PAC founded by Karl Rove and American Action Network.

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.

"It's a line that has not been defined. This is really on the cutting edge," said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at theCampaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization focused on campaign finance issues. "It might not be legal. It's a cutting edge practice that, to my knowledge, the Federal Election Commission has never before addressed to explicitly determine its legality or permissibility."