UPDATE, Jan. 20, 2016: This release has been updated. See below.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Election Commission today certified $846,365.09 in federal matching funds to presidential candidate Martin J. O’Malley for the 2016 primary election. O’Malley is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. The certified amount was in response to the first regular submission for matching funds made by the O’Malley campaign.
In November, O’Malley became the first 2016 presidential candidate to be declared eligible by the Commission to receive federal matching funds. Based on his initial threshold submission, the Commission requested that the United States Treasury make an initial payment of $100,000 to O’Malley’s campaign. The United States Treasury transferred the initial payment on January 4, 2016.
Following the tally vote completed today, the Commission will request the Treasury to make a payment of $846,365.09 to O’Malley for President.
To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states. Although an individual may contribute up to $2,700 to a primary candidate in the current election cycle, only a maximum of $250 per individual is matched with funds from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.
Other requirements to be declared eligible include agreeing to an overall spending limit, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records and permitting an audit of campaign financial activity.
Materials included with O’Malley for President’s submission may be viewed here.
The presidential public funding program is financed through the $3 check-off that appears on individual income tax returns. The program now has two elements: matching payments to participating candidates during the primary campaign and grants available to nominees to pay for the general election campaign. On April 3, 2014, President Barack Obama signed legislation to end the public funding of presidential nomination conventions.
In connection with the 2012 presidential election, the Commission certified nearly $1.4 million in federal matching funds to primary election candidates, and $18.2 million to each of the Republican and Democratic parties for their conventions. The $37.9 million total in public funds certified by the Commission in 2012 was the lowest amount since the inception of the public funding program in 1976.
UPDATE: Jan. 20, 2016: The Commission originally approved a certification for the O’Malley campaign on January 14 but rescinded that vote based on a review of the calculation used. The Commission approved by tally vote a newly calculated amount ($846,365.09) today.
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.###