The Arizona Libertarian Party (“AZLP”) may transfer funds to the Libertarian National Party (“LNP”), but because the amount of the transfer exceeds the yearly $1,000 registration threshold, the AZLP must register as a political committee.
The LNP is offering its state affiliates, including the AZLP, the use of its Customer Relationship Management System (“CRM”) free of charge. The CRM is a database in which state libertarian parties “store critical information; contact information on members, current and potential supporters, donors and candidates.” The AZLP proposes transferring $2,000 to the LNP, to help with the “cost of the overall CRM.”
Twice, in advisory opinions 2007-02 and 2016-14, the Commission determined that AZLP qualified as a state committee of the LNP, a national political party. Each time, the AZLP subsequently terminated its political committee status when it stopped receiving contributions or making expenditures.
Generally, under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and Commission regulations, a group that receives contributions or makes expenditures that aggregate over $1,000 during a calendar year must register as a political committee. A state party committee is a political committee that is part of the official structure of a recognized national party and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the national party at the state level. A state party committee may transfer funds without limit to its national party committee; such transfers count against the reporting thresholds for the purpose of determining whether a committee must register as a political committee under the Act and Commission regulations.
The Commission determined that AZLP may transfer funds to the LNP, as proposed. However, because the amount of the transfer exceeds the $1,000 per year registration threshold, AZLP would need to register as a political committee and file regular campaign finance reports with the Commission.
Date issued: 08/22/2019; 4 pages
52 U.S.C. § 30101(4)(A), (8)(A), (9)(A)
Definitions of political committee, contribution and expenditure
52 U.S.C. § 30101(15)
Definition of state committee
52 U.S.C. § 30116(a)(4)
Transfers between party committees
52 U.S.C. § 30125
Soft money of political parties
11 CFR 100.5(a)
Definition of political committee
11 CFR 100.14(a)
Definition of state committee, subordinate committee, district, or local committee
11 CFR 102.1(d)
Registration of other political committees
11 CFR 102.6(a)
Transfers of funds; registration and reporting required
11 CFR 104.1(a)
Who must report
11 CFR 300.10(a)
Prohibitions for national committee
Status of 11 Libertarian State Committees as state party committee of national party
Arizona Libertarian Party qualifies as a state party committee
Acceptance of maximum individual contributions by national committee of a non-major political party