American Crossroads' new TV ad in Ohio that bolsters former GOP Rep. Rob Portman's Senate candidacy and message on jobs appears to be in violation of FEC coordination regulations, but a recent precedent shows that the group could escape without a fine.
The 527 committee's ad showcases three photographs that originated from Portman's campaign Web site and jobs plan document, and FEC rules state that using such photos constitutes an in-kind contribution that exceeds the legal limits.
Officials connected to the committee say the photos were "publicly sourced," meaning that Portman campaign site photos were posted to another site, and the committee plucked them elsewhere. Both sides cite a precedent involving EMILY's List's assistance of Ohio Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton's 2006 campaign to make their case, and an official at the Ohio Democratic Party confirmed Sunday night to RealClearPolitics that it will file a complaint to the FEC today for an official ruling on the matter.
The Washington Examiner reports on the group's defense: