These PACs, wrote Luo, “must be careful not to cross over into actually footing the bill for a presidential candidacy”—against the law!— a line which he says that Romney and others are “testing.” And why not? The FEC, Luo wrote, “tends to give [PACs] the benefit of the doubt on these kinds of questions.” Not to mention that the six-member FEC—politically deadlocked with three Republicans and three Democrats—has been, as described in a recent Daily Beast column, unusually “quiet” during a time of record campaign spending.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.