AO 2013-04: Democratic Governors Association/Jobs and Opportunity
As an association of state candidates, the Democratic Governors Association (“Association”) must use federal funds to finance its voter registration, get out the vote, voter identification, and generic campaign activities (“federal election activity” or “FEA”) in connection with the 2014 elections. The Commission could not approve by the required four affirmative votes an answer as to whether another political organization, “Jobs and Opportunity,” whose only members will be the Association’s executive director and chief operating officer, must also use federal funds to finance its FEA.
Jobs & Opportunity will also be a political organization and plans to make “independent expenditures” in selected gubernatorial races. Its only members will be the Association’s executive director and its chief operating officer; no officeholders or candidates will be members of Jobs & Opportunity, and the Association’s members “will generally not play a role” in decisions about Jobs & Opportunity’s daily operations or how it spends its funds.
Both the Association and Jobs & Opportunity plan to make disbursements for voter registration, GOTV activities, voter identification, and generic campaign activities in connection with the 2014 elections. Both would use nonfederal funds to pay for these activities, but neither would use nonfederal funds to pay for public communications that promote, support, attack, or oppose federal candidates.
The Commission was unable to approve by the required four affirmative votes an answer as to whether Jobs & Opportunity must also pay for FEA with only federal funds.
Date Issued: September 12, 2013; Length: 3 pages
(Posted 9/16/2013; By: Travis Drake)
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