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