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Ready for Ron (22-3282)

Summary

On October 27, 2022, Ready for Ron (plaintiff or RFR) filed suit against the Commission in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the court). Plaintiff claims that Advisory Opinion 2022-12, issued September 28, 2022, violates RFR’s First Amendment rights because it prohibits them from providing a signed petition with signatories' contact information to Gov. Ron DeSantis if he is testing the waters for a potential federal candidacy.

Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief. RFR asks the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the Commission from applying the "testing the waters" statute or regulations to plaintiff’s provision of the petition and signatories' contact information to Governor DeSantis. Plaintiff further seeks a declaratory judgment holding that 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a) and implementing regulations at 11 CFR 110.1(b) and (d) are unconstitutional as applied to the provision of a signed draft petition and the petition-related expenditure of funds raised outside the limits and prohibition of the Federal Election Campaign Act. Furthermore, RFR asks the court to declare that section 30116 does not limit transfers to a person who is not a candidate, and that (a)(8) allows RFR to act as a conduit to pass signatures and contact information from a petition's signatories to the recipient. Finally, plaintiff asks that the court declare 11 CFR 100.72 (the "testing the waters" regulation) void and unenforceable, and that the court vacate AO 2022-12.