Brad Sherman campaign questions 'super PAC' role

Rep. Brad Sherman’s political consultant thought he smelled a rat when he uncovered what he considered evidence of some possible — and illegal — collusion between  rival Howard Berman’s campaign and one of the “super PACs” that have formed to support Berman in the costly clash between the two Democratic congressmen for a single San Fernando Valley district seat.

Combing through the most recent campaign finance records filed with the Federal Election Commission, Sherman chief consultant Parke Skelton noticed that the Berman campaign had made payments to the same consultant used by the super PAC Committee to Elect an Effective Valley Congressman, one of at least two such organizations favoring Berman.  Super PACs may collect and spend unlimited amounts to  oppose or help elect candidates so long as their efforts are “independent” and they do not coordinate with the candidate’s campaign.

Skelton found the Berman for Congress Campaign had paid consultant Jerry Seedborg $132,000 while the super PAC incurred a debt of $23,595 to Seedborg’s company, Voter Guide Slate Cards.

"If my worst suspicions are true,” Skelton said in a news release Friday,  “then what we’re seeing is an outrageous example of the destructive role of super PACs in our democracy.  I am deeply concerned that this is evidence the Berman campaign is coordinating with a super PAC — and that would be clearly illegal.”

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-- Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times

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