From Talking Points Memo:
The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 have filed complaints with the FEC and DOJ calling for an investigation into the activities of two companies that appear to have been used to funnel funds to a Super PAC created by former Romney campaign staffers. The complaints come on the heels of a another the two groups filed against the first phantom company, W Spann LLC, was discovered to have masked the true identity of a $1 million mystery donor to Restore Our Future [Romney's super PAC]...
The two watchdogs groups are now asking the FEC and DOJ to formally investigate the activities of the F8 LLC and Eli Publishing L.C. for possible violations of the ban on making contributions in the name of another and for failing to organize and register as a political committee. The groups also want the agencies to look into whether Restore Our Future had any knowledge or involvement in the "straw company" donation scheme.
"The use of 'straw companies' to funnel money anonymously into Restore Our Future does not appear to have been limited to a single company, but seems to be a pattern that places additional urgency on the need for the FEC and DOJ to vigorously investigate these companies and to enforce the laws on the books before this problem becomes even more widespread," said Paul S. Ryan, FEC Program Director at the Campaign Legal Center. "Existing laws must be enforced to give citizens a fighting chance of knowing who or what is spending millions of dollars in an attempt to influence their vote and to curry favor with elected officials."
While I'm fairly confident that this "straw company" phenomenon is not limited to Romney (or to Republicans for that matter) it does my small, twisted, blackened excuse for a heart a world of good to watch Romney, a slick, big-money Establishment Creature if there ever has been one, get fragged for these blatant shenanigans.
Does this mean that the era of dirty tricks, election rigging, and money laundering is over for American politics? Not in your wildest dreams, chief. From America's earliest elections, this type of malarkey has been endemic to the process.
What this might mean, however, is that the official/unofficial policy of turning a blind eye to this type of behavior may be headed for the trash heap where it can rest peacefully next to the dessicated corpse of Tim Pawlenty's political ambitions.