CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – The New Hampshire Democratic Party is filing a complaint with the government against a Virginia-based business advocacy group that’s running a radio ad attacking Jeanne Shaheen’s record as governor. Shaheen is running for the U.S. Senate.

The party, which sent a letter Monday to the Federal Election Commission, says Americans for Job Security has failed to register and report as a political committee. The state Democratic Party also says the ad also failed to include a required disclaimer as to whether it’s been authorized by any federal candidate, and that the group conspired to make illegal corporate expenditures in connection with a federal election.

Americans for Job Security, which has paid for ads for federal candidates in the past, such as the re-election bid of Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in 2006, is one of a number of organizations registered under 501(c) of the federal tax code.

That classification allows groups to engage in political activity without revealing contributors as long as it’s not their main activity.

Stephen DeMaura, president of Americans for Job Security, said the group ran an “issue” ad, not a political ad, and didn’t need to file as a political committee under FEC rules.

But Kathy Sullivan, senior adviser to the state Democratic Party, said one reason the complaint was being filed was that the ad does not talk about a pending, current issue. “Because of that it, it is clear that this is a political ad. They’re only talking about Governor Shaheen because she is a candidate.

Otherwise, they wouldn’t be running these ads. So it’s clearly the functional equivalent of advocacy in the election contest.”

In November, the FEC adopted rules stemming from a U.S. Supreme Court decision saying issue ads that mention a political candidate would be permissible in the weeks before an election as long as they focus on a matter of public policy and don’t mention an election, political party or an opposing candidate, or take a stand on a candidate’s character, qualifications or fitness for office.

The ad, which has been running since last week, said that before she became governor, Shaheen pledged to oppose new taxes, but as governor, she signed a new statewide property tax. It also said she vetoed a repeal of the death tax, and proposed sales and capital gains taxes.

In 1996 and 1998, Shaheen took the traditional pledge to veto a general income or sales tax. But when she was re-elected in 2000, she did not do so.


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