WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission approved three advisory opinions. It approved two Audit Division recommendation memoranda prior to the meeting.
Advisory Opinion 2019-01 (It Starts Today). The Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from It Starts Today regarding a proposal to establish nominee and presumptive nominee funds that would accept contributions earmarked for candidates who receive the public endorsement of a specified endorsing organization. The Commission concluded that the proposal is permissible because the requestor would forward the contributions to the nominee or presumptive nominee only if an endorsement occurs by a specified date and otherwise would forward the contributions to a default recipient identified in the solicitation.
Advisory Opinion 2019-02 (Bill Nelson for Senate). The Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from Bill Nelson for Senate (the Committee) regarding the permissibility of donating excess funds from a recount fund that the Committee had collected. The Commission concluded that the Committee may donate excess recount funds to a charitable organization or transfer the funds to a national party committee’s separate, segregated account for election recounts, contests, and other legal proceedings. During the discussion the Commission heard from counsel for the requestor. The Commission received two comments on the draft.
Advisory Opinion 2019-03 (DC Libertarian Party). The Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from the DC Libertarian Party, concluding that the Party qualifies as a state committee of a political party. A state party organization affiliated with a national political party qualifies as a state committee of a political party if three criteria are met: (1) the national organization with which the state party organization is affiliated must itself qualify as a political party; (2) the state party organization must be part of the official structure of the national party; and (3) the state party organization must be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the national party at the state level.
Draft Advisory Opinion 2018-12 (Defending Digital Campaigns, Inc.). The Commission held over discussion of the draft advisory opinions because the requestor agreed to an extension of time until April 15.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Hall for Congress. On Wednesday, the Commission approved by tally vote an Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Hall for Congress, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016. The memorandum discussed findings pertaining to receipt of contributions in excess of the limit and use of general election contributions for primary expenditures.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Jill Stein for President. On Wednesday, the Commission approved on tally vote an Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Jill Stein for President, covering campaign finance activity between January 17, 2015, and December 31, 2016. The memorandum discussed findings pertaining to a surplus of funds in connection with net outstanding campaign obligations, matching funds received in excess of entitlement, misstatement of financial activity, and disclosure of debts and obligations. In the memorandum, the Audit Staff recommended that the Commission reject Jill Stein for President’s proposal that the Commission delay making a repayment determination.
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 of Representatives, 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.###