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  • Press Release

FEC Issues Advisory Opinion on Visclosky Request

June 19, 2009


For Immediate Release


Judith Ingram

June 19, 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland


WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission issued an advisory opinion requested by Rep. Pete Visclosky (IN-1) and his principal campaign committee, Visclosky for Congress, regarding the permissibility of using campaign funds to pay for legal fees and expenses related to a Federal investigation.

In Advisory Opinion 2009-10, the Commission concluded that the Committee may use campaign funds to pay for legal fees and expenses related to a Federal investigation into whether a lobbying firm, PMA Group, made improper political contributions to Visclosky and other members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Commission reasoned that the investigation and the legal fees and expenses incurred in connection with the investigation would not exist irrespective of Visclosky’s campaign or duties as a Federal officeholder. The use of campaign funds for legal expenses unrelated to Visclosky’s candidacy or position in Congress would be prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

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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