Funding Federal Election Activity (FEA)
The first and second types of FEA may generally be allocated between federal and Levin funds according to fixed percentages. The third and fourth types of FEA must be paid for solely with federal funds.
Levin funds may not be used to pay for any part of FEA if the activity refers to a clearly identified federal candidate. In addition, Levin funds may not be used to pay for any part of the cost of any broadcasting, cable or satellite communication (unless the communication refers solely to a clearly identified state or local candidate). If a party committee pays to produce internet content that would qualify as FEA—for example, a video that promotes, supports, attacks or opposes a clearly identified federal candidate—and pays to post that content on another person’s website, then the entire cost of production and publication of the content must be paid for with federal funds.
Disbursements for allocable Federal Election Activity may be paid for either entirely with federal funds or with a combination of federal funds and Levin funds.
Unregistered party organizations should note that, unless the payments otherwise qualify as expenditures, payments of federal funds or Levin funds for FEA by a state, district or local party committee do not constitute expenditures for the purpose of determining registration requirements.
When allocating FEA, committees must use a fixed minimum percentage of federal funds. The minimum percentage of federal funds depends upon which federal offices appear on the ballot during the election year:
- If both a presidential candidate and a Senate candidate appear on the ballot, then at least 36 percent of the expenses must be allocated to the federal account;
- If a presidential candidate, but not a Senate candidate, appears on the ballot, then at least 28 percent of the expenses must be allocated to the federal account;
- If a Senate candidate, but not a presidential candidate, appears on the ballot, then at least 21 percent of the expenses must be allocated to the federal account; and
- If neither a presidential candidate nor a Senate candidate appears on the ballot, then at least 15 percent of the expenses must be allocated to the federal account.
A state, district or local party committee uses Schedule H1 to determine its allocation ratio at the beginning of each calendar year.
Levin transfers (H5)
Each reporting period, the committee discloses transfers from the Levin account to the federal (or allocation) account to pay the allocated portion of allocable Federal Election Activity costs. Transfers must be made within a 70-day window (no more than 10 days before or 60 days after an allocated payment is made).
Levin fund transfers are itemized on Schedule L-B.
The total amount of transfers itemized on Schedule H5 is entered on Line 18(b) of the Detailed Summary Page.
Each reporting period, the committee uses Schedule H6 to itemize all payments for allocable Federal Election Activity costs, showing the allocated federal and Levin shares.
The federal and Levin payment totals that appear on Schedule H6 are entered on Line 30(a) of the Form 3X Detailed Summary Page (federal share on Line 30(a)(i) and Levin share on Line 30(a)(ii)).