WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has certified $185,470.11 in federal matching funds to presidential candidate Charles E. “Buddy” Roemer III for the 2012 primary election. The certified amount was in response to the first regular submission for matching funds made by the Roemer campaign. The U.S. Treasury Department transferred the amount certified on March 26.
In February, based on Roemer’s initial threshold submission, the Commission requested that the United States Treasury make an initial payment of $100,000 to Roemer’s campaign. On March 22, the Commission voted to certify a second payment, and it transmitted that request to the Treasury on March 23. This raises the total amount of federal funds certified thus far to Roemer, the first 2012 presidential candidate to be declared eligible by the Commission to receive federal matching funds, to $285,470.11. Roemer is seeking the nomination of Americans Elect and the Reform Party for president in 2012.
To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual. 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 extensive campaign audit.
The presidential public funding program is financed through the $3 check-off that appears on individual income tax returns. The program has three elements: grants to parties to help fund their nominating conventions, grants available to nominees to pay for the general election campaign, and matching payments to participating candidates during the primary campaign.
In July and September of 2011, the Commission certified $17,689,800 each to the Republican and Democratic parties for their 2012 conventions. This cycle, the maximum amount a primary candidate could receive is currently estimated to be about $22.8 million. The Commission estimates that each 2012 general election nominee will be eligible for a grant of approximately $91.2 million.
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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