News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                                                Contact:  Ron Harris
February 11, 2000                                                                                               Sharon Snyder
                                                                                                                               Ian Stirton
                                                                                                                               Kelly Huff

PUBLIC HEARING FEB. 16 ON PROPOSED COORDINATION RULES

WASHINGTON Ė The Federal Election Commission (FEC) will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, February 16, 2000, at 10 a.m. on proposed new rules to address coordinated communications made in support of or in opposition to clearly identified candidates Ė communications paid for by persons other than candidates, candidatesí authorized committees, and party committees.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 1999 (pps. 68951-56) and the comment period closed on January 24, 2000.

Witnesses scheduled for the February 16 hearing are:

10 a.m. -- Jan W. Baran, Counsel, Coalition for Good Government

Laurence E. Gold, Associate General Counsel, AFL-CIO

11 a.m. -- Deborah Goldberg, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

11:30 a.m. -- James Bopp, Jr., General Counsel, James Madison Center for Free Speech

12 - 2 p.m. -- Lunch break

2 p.m. -- Robert F. Bauer, Counsel, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Thomas J. Josefiak, Counsel, Republican National Committee

Joseph E. Sandler, General Counsel, Democratic National Committee

3:30 p.m. -- Cleta Mitchell, Counsel, First Amendment Project of the Americans Back in Charge Foundation

4 p.m. -- Kate Guinane, Counsel, Alliance for Justice

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits corporations and labor organizations from using general treasury funds to make contributions to a candidate for federal office. It also imposes various limits on the amount of money or in-kind contributions other persons may contribute to federal campaigns. Unlike independent expenditures, which are unlimited, expenditures that are coordinated with a candidate or campaign are considered in-kind contributions. As such, they are subject to the various limits and prohibitions set out in the FECA.

The proposed rules would incorporate into the Commissionís rules the standard on coordination articulated by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Federal Election Commission v. The Christian Coalition, with references to the Supreme Courtís plurality opinion in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. Federal Election Commission.

The February 16 hearing will be in the Commissionís 9th floor hearing room, 999 E Street, NW, Washington. Comments on the proposal may be found on the FEC Web site, www.fec.gov.

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