On September 17, 2018, the Commission published a notification of availability seeking comment on whether to revise its existing regulations to prohibit the personal use of leadership PAC funds. Comments are due by November 16, 2018 (83 Fed. Reg. 46888).
The Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and Commission regulations prohibit the personal use of funds contributed to a federal candidate or donated to support the activities of a federal officeholder. The regulations define “personal use” as “any use of funds in a campaign account of a present or former candidate to fulfill a commitment, obligation or expense of any person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign or duties as a Federal officeholder.”
As defined by the Act and regulations, leadership PACs are political committees directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained, or controlled by federal candidates or officeholders that are neither authorized committees of a federal candidate or officeholder nor affiliated with an authorized committee of a federal candidate or officeholder. The term “leadership PAC” does not include a political committee of a political party.
On July 24, 2018, the Campaign Legal Center filed a petition for rulemaking asking the Commission to specify that the personal use ban applies to contributions received by leadership PACs.
The Commission requests public comment on the petition. Comments must be submitted in writing on or before November 16, 2018. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission’s website at http://sers.fec.gov/fosers/rulemaking.htm?pid=2933211 (reference REG Number 2018-02).