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  • FEC Record: Advisory opinions

AO 2014-05: State law does not apply to SSF's federal solicitations

July 28, 2014

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and Commission regulations, the separate segregated fund (SSF) of a corporation without capital stock may solicit federal contributions at any time from its solicitable class and twice yearly from an expanded group of individuals. According to the Michigan Department of State, a state law that restricts SSF solicitations for state and local activity does not apply to federal solicitations. As a result, the Commission need not address whether the Act preempts that statute.


Henry Ford Health System Government Affairs Services (HFHS GAS) is a nonprofit membership corporation wholly owned by Henry Ford Health System (“HFHS”), a Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a number of other wholly owned subsidiaries.

The HFHS GAS Political Action Committee (SSF) is registered with both the FEC and the Michigan Board of Elections. The committee asks whether it may solicit contributions from employees of its connected organization’s corporate parent and that parent’s other subsidiaries as permitted under the Federal Election Campaign Act, 2 U.S.C. §§ 431-457 (the Act), and Commission regulations. The SSF also asks whether the Act preempts Michigan law concerning the solicitation of these contributions.


Because HFHS and its subsidiaries are affiliated, the HFHS GAS SSF may solicit contributions from the executive and administrative personnel (and families) of HFHS and its subsidiaries. It also may solicit contributions from other employees of HFHS and its subsidiaries twice yearly, as permitted under the Act and Commission regulations. 11 CFR 114.5(g)(1) and 114.6(a).

The Michigan Department of State has confirmed that the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 169.201-.282) applies only to contributions for state and local elections and not to contributions made to support or oppose candidates for federal office. Therefore the Commission does not need to address the preemption question posed in this request.

The Commission expressed no opinion regarding any implications of the proposal under the Internal Revenue Code because those issues are outside the Commission''s jurisdiction.

Date issued: 07/23/2014; Length: 6 pages.


  • Author 
    • Alex Knott