A donation by a federal candidate to an individual seeking election to a political party position is a permissible use of campaign funds and does not constitute "personal use."
Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. represents the 2nd District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a candidate for re-election in 2008. Representative Jackson wishes to donate funds from his principle campaign committee to the campaign committee of his wife, Ms. Sandi Jackson. Ms. Jackson is seeking election to the political party position of Committeeman of the 7th Ward in the Cook County Democratic Party.
The Act and Commission regulations identify six permissible uses of campaign funds. 2 U.S.C. §439a(a) and 11 CFR 113.2(e). While donations to "state and local candidates subject to the provisions of state law" is a permissible use, the Commission concludes that those seeking office in a political party organization are not "state or local candidates" within the meaning of 2 U.S.C. §439a(a)(5).
Nevertheless, the proposed donation to Ms. Jackson's campaign committee would be permissible because a federal candidate or officeholder may use campaign contributions "for any other lawful" purpose other than the conversion of such funds to the "personal use" of the candidate, officeholder or any other person 2 U.S.C. §439(a)(a)(6); 11 CFR 113.2(e). Provided the funds transferred to Ms. Jackson's campaign committee are used only for the committee's bona fide campaign purposes and are not otherwise converted to personal use, Representative Jackson may make unlimited donations to Ms. Jackson's campaign. The funds must be in amounts and from sources that are consistent with state law. 11 CFR 300.62.
AO 2007-29: Date Issued: December 10, 2007; length: 5 pages.