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FEC approves two advisory opinions

September 14, 2017

WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission approved two advisory opinions and instructed the Office of General Counsel to develop a consensus draft advisory opinion in response to another request. The Commission voted to reopen the comment period on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning disclaimers on certain Internet communications.

Advisory Opinion 2017-09 (Libertarian Association of Massachusetts) The Commission approved an advisory opinion, concluding that the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts qualifies as a state committee of a political party.

Advisory Opinion 2017-06 (Stein/Gottlieb) The Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to an advisory opinion request from Eli Stein and Jeremy Gottlieb, as modified at the table. The Commission concluded that the requestors’ proposed mobile app, which would allow users to round up spare change from the user’s debit or credit card transactions and contribute those amounts to candidates for federal office, is permissible and complies with all applicable provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and Commission regulations. During the discussion the Commission heard from counsel for the requestors. 

Advisory Opinion Request 2017-05 (Great America PAC and The Committee to Defend the President). The Commission voted on two drafts in response to an advisory opinion request from two non-connected political committees but was unable to reach consensus by the required four affirmative votes. The Commission instructed the Office of General Counsel to develop a consensus draft. The request asks several questions with respect to the use of Twitter handles in disclaimers and whether disclaimers are required on Twitter pages. During the discussion, the Commission heard from Counsel for the requestors.

Advisory Opinion Request 2017-10 (Citizens Against Plutocracy). The Commission held over an advisory opinion request from Citizens Against Plutocracy.  The requestor, an independent expenditure-only committee, asks whether its proposal to ask candidates to sign a “Contract for American Renewal” and to use the signed Contracts in emails from the requestor to supporters or to place them on the requestor’s website would constitute coordination under Commission regulations.

REG 2011-02 (Internet Communication Disclaimers)The Commission approved a motion to reopen the comment period for an additional period of 30 days. 

Draft Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations. The Commission held over discussion of a draft campaign guide.

Audit Hearing on Freedom’s Defense Fund and Conservative Majority Fund. Prior to today’s open meeting, the Commission held an audit hearing on Freedom’s Defense Fund and the Conservative Majority Fund.

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.

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