This story was originally published by The Center for Public Integrity, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.
A supposedly Texas-based super PAC is living up to its hush-hush name -- and potentially breaking federal law in the process.
Secretive Politics, which in August 2012 filed organizational paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, has yet to submit one mandatory campaign finance report or otherwise disclose a dime of what it's raised or spent, according to agency records.
The super PAC initially sprang to a hasty start, with treasurer June Walton asking the FEC to "register this organization as a super pac as soon as possible" as the "committee intends to make unlimited independent expenditures."
But since last year, the FEC has mailed Secretive Politics four "failure to file" notices, the most recent on Aug. 22. In the letter, Deborah Chacona, assistant staff director for the FEC's reports analysis division, threatened the super PAC with "civil money penalties, an audit or legal enforcement action."
And now, the person or people behind Secretive Politics, which as a super PAC may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for and against politicians, are nowhere to be found.
Messages to its listed email address bounce back, and its stated website, SecretivePolitics.com, is nonfunctional, the domain today owned by registration company GoDaddy.com.
The toll-free phone number listed on FEC documents for Walton ring to a voicemail box where a computerized voice states that the caller has reached the "learn-on-demand sales team" and invites one to leave a message. The phone number is also identical to that of a seemingly defunct company that advertised "luxurious, exclusive in-flight spa services" for private aircraft owners.
Meanwhile, the address Secretive Politics lists for itself leads to an office building management company in Sugar Land, Texas, called BusinesSuites Sugar Creek.
The company, in addition to providing physical offices for tenants, specializes in "virtual offices" that, for $350 a month, offer clients a mailing address, live receptionist and access to a conference room -- but no actual office.
FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said she "wouldn't want to pre-judge" the actions of Secretive Politics since it's "possible I could be called upon to render a formal decision at some point."
The commission itself has a menu of enforcement options at its disposal. They include slapping the super PAC with civil fines to administratively terminating it, as it has with a some federally registered political committees that either provided erroneous information to the FEC or failed to file required reports.
It could also refer the matter to the Department of Justice if it believes the super PAC has violated a criminal statute.
A citizen could also file a complaint against Secretive Politics with the FEC.
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