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Home / Media Notebook / Americans for Job Security

Americans for Job Security

Posted on 10-05-2004 3:38 PM EDT

Americans for Job Security [501(c)(6)] is under investigation by a Texas grand jury for potential violations of a law prohibiting the use of corporate money to influence state elections, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Prosecutors have been investigating AJS since a Texas watchdog group filed a criminal complaint in January alleging that corporate money was funneled through AJS to pay for attack ads against a state representative just days before a six-way special election.

At issue is whether the ads were intended to influence an election, which would make them subject to Texas election law, and whether they were funded with corporate money. AJS has refused to reveal its donors, which is its right as a Section 501(c) group.

The Texas representative attacked by AJS, Republican Tommy Merritt, last year opposed his own party’s redistricting plan that was being pushed through the legislature at the behest of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Americans for Job Security argued that the ads attacking Merritt weren’t intended to influence the election but rather to further AJS’s promotion of "pro-paycheck issues."

Fred Lewis, president of Campaigns for People, the group that filed the complaint against AJS, said the attack ads were more likely retaliation for Merritt’s vote on redistricting. Lewis noted that AJS did not air its ads during the legislative session, when the bills were being debated, but rather in the closing days of an election campaign.

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