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AO 2012-39: Green Party of Virginia Qualifies as State Party Committee
The Green Party of Virginia (the GPV) qualifies as a state party committee under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) because: (1) the Green Party of the U.S. (the GPUS) qualifies as a political party; (2) GPV is part of the official GPUS structure; and (3) GPV is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the GPUS at the state level.
The GPV must also qualify as part of the official party structure of the national party, pursuant to 11 CFR 100.14. In previous advisory opinions, the Commission has looked to supporting documentation indicating the state party is part of the official party structure. See AOs 2012-36, 2008-16 and 2008-13. The GPV provided documentation that includes a letter from the Secretary of the GPUS confirming that the GPV is part of the GPUS’s official party structure. Third, the GPV must maintain responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the GPUS at the state level. 2 U.S.C. §431(15); 11 CFR 100.14. In previous advisory opinions, the Commission has evaluated this third element by considering two criteria:
Ballot placement on behalf of a “candidate” is required because the requesting organization’s existence as a “political party” is necessary for state committee status. A state party organization must actually obtain ballot access for one or more “candidates,” as defined by the Act. See 2 U.S.C. §§431(2), (15), and (16); 11 CFR 100.3(a), 100.14(a) and 100.15. Ms. Jill Stein qualified as a “candidate” under the Act, and Ms. Stein’s name was listed on the 2012 Virginia ballot as the GPUS’s candidate for President, satisfying the first criterion. Further, the GPV listed Mr. Joe Galdo, Jr. as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives on the 2012 ballot. Mr. Galdo, too, met the qualifications of a “candidate” under the Act according to disclosure reports filed with the Commission. Consequently, the GPV qualifies as a “political party” under the Act.The Commission also determined the GPV’s constitution and bylaws delineate activity commensurate with the day-to-day functions and operations of a political party on the state level, thereby satisfying the second criterion.
Because all three elements of the definition of “state committee” are satisfied, the Commission concluded the GPV qualifies as a state committee of a political party under the Act and Commission regulations.
Date Issued: January 31, 2013; 5 pages
(Posted 2/06/2013; By: Travis Drake)
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