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  • Press Release

Both Major Parties Receive Public Funding for 2012 Conventions

November 8, 2011


For Immediate Release


Judith Ingram

November 8, 2011

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
  Mary Brandenberger


WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has certified that the two major political parties’ convention committees are eligible to receive public funding, and both received initial payments of $17,689,800 from the U.S. Treasury for planning and conducting their respective 2012 presidential nominating conventions.  

The Commission is responsible for administering the public funding program for presidential campaigns and nominating conventions under the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act and the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. These Acts permit all eligible national committees of major and minor parties to receive public funds to help pay the official costs of their presidential nominating conventions.

Each major party convention committee is entitled to receive $4 million, plus an adjustment for inflation (since 1974).* Previous payments for each major party convention were:

2008 - $16,820,760

2004 - $14,924,000

2000 - $13,512,000

1996 - $12,364,000

1992 - $11,048,000

1988 - $9,220,000

1984 - $8,080,000

1980 - $4,416,000

1976 - $2,182,000

The U.S. Treasury makes initial payments on or after July 1 of the year preceding the presidential election. This year, the Republican Party applied for public financing of its 2012 convention on June 1 and received its funding of $17,689,800 on July 1. The Democratic Party applied on September 6 and received the same amount on September 22. The Secretary of the Treasury will certify additional payments, based on final inflation adjustments of approximately $600,000 for each convention, in early 2012.

The Committee on Arrangements for the 2012 Republican National Convention will host its convention in Tampa, Florida, on August 27-30, 2012. The 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, Inc. will hold its convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 3-6, 2012.

In exchange for public funding of the conventions, committees agree to certain requirements, including spending limits, the filing of periodic disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission and detailed audits. Since no third party candidate received 5 percent of the vote in 2008, only the Republican and Democratic parties are eligible for 2012 convention grants.

The public funding portion of presidential elections is financed by the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which receives funds through dollars voluntarily "checked off" by taxpayers on federal income tax forms. For additional information, consult the Commission’s website at

(*)Originally, the limit was $2 million, plus COLA (cost-of-living adjustment). That figure increased to $3 million, plus COLA, for the 1980 conventions and to $4 million, plus COLA, for the 1984 conventions.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.