skip navigation
  • FEC Record: Advisory opinions

AO 2007-02: State party status for Arizona Libertarians

April 1, 2007

The Arizona Libertarian Party, Inc. (the Arizona Party), satisfies the requirements for state committee status.

Background

The Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) defines a state committee as “the organization which, by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is part of the official party structure and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of such political party at the State level, as determined by the Commission.” 2 U.S.C. 431(15).

In order for a committee to achieve state party committee status under FEC regulations, the Commission must first determine whether the party itself qualifies as a “political party” under the Act and Commission regulations. See AOs 2004-40 and 2004-34. Secondly, the committee must satisfy the remaining requirements of state party committee status: (1) be part of the official party structure and (2) be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the political party at the state level. 2 U.S.C. 431(15) and 11 CFR 100.14. To determine day-to-day responsibility for operations, the Commission considers both the bylaws of the committee and whether the committee has successfully placed a federal candidate on the ballot. See AOs 2004-40 and 2004-34. Gaining ballot access for a federal candidate is an essential element of qualifying as a political party. See 11 CFR 100.15.

Analysis

The Arizona Party meets all of the requirements for state political committee status. The Commission previously determined that the Libertarian Party qualifies as a political party and that the Libertarian National Committee qualifies as a national party committee. See AOs 2002-14 and 1975-129. The Arizona Party demonstrated that it is part of the official party structure by submitting a letter from the Libertarian National Committee designating it as the national committee’s “sole affiliate” in the state of Arizona.

Regarding the day-to-day operational responsibilities, the Arizona Party’s constitution and bylaws demonstrate activity equivalent to that of other committees that have qualified for state party committee status. See AOs 2004-40 and 2004-34. Finally, the Arizona Party successfully placed two federal House candidates on the ballot in 2006. Both candidates raised or spent in excess of $5,000 during their 2006 campaigns, thus satisfying the Act’s definition of “candidate” at 2 U.S.C. 431(2).

Date Issued: March 9, 2007; Length: 4 pages

  • Author 
    • Meredith Metzler
}