When a person pays for a communication that is coordinated with a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or their agents, or a political party committee or its agents, 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. To access charts listing the breakdown of the 90- and 120-day coordinated communications (CC) periods for 2020 elections:
NOTE: For communications that refer to both a party and a clearly identified federal candidate please consult the regulations at 11 CFR 109.21(c)(4)(i)-(iv).