With monthly, quarterly and semiannual reports all due this month, July is the perfect time to review some common reporting issues and to provide new information concerning both the method and content of certain filings. The material that follows addresses:
- How electronic filers should file amendments to FEC Form 1, and why all filers should disclose a current e-mail address;
- New filing methods for Senate candidates filing FEC Form 10 with the Secretary of the Senate;
- FEC rules for disclosing a joint fundraising representative; and • An updated list of “purpose of disbursement” descriptions that will be deemed inadequate by the Commission.
Filing FEC Form 1
Electronic filers must file all statements and reports, including amendments to statements and reports, electronically. When filing an amendment electronically, the complete version of the report or statement must be submitted, rather than just the portion being amended. 11 CFR 104.18(f). Thus, the FEC will not accept amendments to FEC Form 1 submitted by electronic filers via letter or paper reporting form.¹
The FEC also reminds all filers to amend FEC Form 1 if a correct email address has not previously been disclosed or if the disclosed address is outdated. Since January 2007, all reporting reminders have been sent via e-mail to the address provided on Form 1, rather than through firs tclass mail. Only committees with a current email address on Form 1 receive these notices.²
Fax and email filing of Form 10 for Senate candidates
Under the Millionaires’ Amendment, a Senate candidate whose personal spending exceeds certain threshold amounts must file FEC Form 10, “24-Hour Notice of Expenditure from Candidate’s Personal Funds.” 11 CFR 400.21. Senate candidates must file Form 10 with the Secretary of the Senate’s Office of Public Records, and must simultaneously fax or e-mail identical copies to the FEC and all opposing candidates. Now, for ease of filing with the Senate, Senate candidates may file Form 10 with the Senate via fax, at 202/224-1851, or by email, at FECForm10@sec.senate.gov.
Senate candidates must still file copies of Form 10 with the FEC by fax at 202/219-0174 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they must send copies to all opposing candidates via fax or e-mail as well. Candidates can find their opposing candidates’ fax numbers and e-mail addresses on the most recent FEC Form 1, “Statement of Organization,” filed by each candidate’s principal campaign committee.³
Disclosing joint fundraising representatives
Joint fundraising is fundraising conducted jointly by a political committee and one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations. Joint fundraising participants must either establish a new political committee or, in some cases, may select a participating political committee to act as the fundraising representative responsible for collecting and depositing contributions, paying expenses, allocating proceeds and expenses to each participant, keeping records and reporting overall joint fundraising activity. See 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i), (b)(1) and (b)(2).
If a federal candidate participates in a joint fundraiser, then the participating committees must establish a new political committee to act as the joint fundraising representative and may not designate one of the participating committees to act as the representative. The new political committee established for the joint fundraiser must register with the FEC using FEC Form 1, Statement of Organization, and must include the name of each participating federal candidate in the new committee’s name. 11 CFR 102.14. Thus, for example, a joint fundraising committee established to raise funds for a candidate and a party could not be called “Victory ’08,” but might be called the “John Doe Victory ’08” committee.
Each participant in the joint fundraiser (other than the joint fundraising representative) must amend its FEC Form 1, Statement of Organization, to provide the name and address of the joint fundraising representative—identified as the “JFR”—and to state the name and address of the depository institution holding the joint fundraising account, if that account is different form the depository named on its current FEC Form 1. In addition, each federal candidate participating in the fundraiser must designate the fundraising representative as an authorized candidate committee on FEC Form 2, Statement of Candidacy. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i), (b)(1) and (b)(2). See also Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees, Appendix C.
Updated purposes of disbursement descriptions
When a committee reports a disbursement on Schedule B of Form 3, Form 3X or Form 3P, it must identify the purpose of the disbursement. See 11 CFR 104.3(b)(3) and (4). Commission regulations require that the purpose of disbursement entry for each disbursement be sufficiently specific, when considered within the context of the identity of the recipient, to provide a clear reason for the payment.
In December 2006, the Commission published a Policy Statement designed to improve purpose of disbursement descriptions. See the February 2007 Record, page 5. The policy statement included non-exhaustive lists of acceptable and unacceptable descriptions of disbursements. The lists are intended to provide additional guidance to the regulated community and to foster consistency among filers.
The Commission recently approved an updated list of inadequate “purposes of disbursement.” The updated list, still a non-exhaustive list, is available on the Commission’s web site at http://transition.fec.gov/law/policy/purposeofdisbursement/inadequate_purpose_list_3507.pdf.
¹ Paper filers who amend Form 1 need only include the committee’s name, address, identification number and the changed or corrected information.
² Please do not provide more than one email address per committee. Disclosing multiple addresses on a single Form 1 will prevent the committee from receiving FEC messages.
³ House candidates should consult the instructions for Form 10 for reporting requirements and where to file.