When a person pays for a communication that is coordinated with a candidate or party committee, the communication is considered an in-kind contribution to that candidate or party committee and is subject to the limits, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the federal campaign finance law. FEC regulations establish a three-prong test to determine whether a communication is coordinated. All three prongs of the test—payment, content and conduct—must be met for a communication to be deemed coordinated and thus an in-kind contribution.
One provision identifies certain pre-election time frames during which a public communication that references a candidate will satisfy the content prong of the coordination test.
The charts below provide a breakdown of the 90-day coordinated communications periods for the 2019 house and senate special elections.
Coordinated communications periods for 2019 special elections
|Special election||Election date||CC period (90-days prior through election date)|
|Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District Special General||05/21/19||02/20/19 - 05/21/19|
NOTE: For communications that refer to both a party and a clearly identified federal candidate, please consult the regulations at 11 CFR109.21(c)(4)(i)-(iv).