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  • FEC Record: Litigation

Stop Hillary PAC v. FEC (New 2014)

December 30, 2014

On December 11, 2014, plaintiff Stop Hillary PAC filed suit against the FEC to challenge the agency’s alleged failure to act on its complaint against Ready For Hillary PAC (Ready for Hillary), Hillary Rodham Clinton, her authorized Senate committee "Friends of Hillary," and her authorized Presidential Committee from 2008, "Hillary Clinton for President." Plaintiff asks the court to direct the Commission to act on its complaint within 30 days and to authorize it to bring a civil action against the committees if the Commission does not do so.

On January 22, 2014, plaintiff filed an administrative complaint with the FEC alleging that Ready for Hillary, a nonconnected committee, was using an email list owned by Hillary Clinton to send messages calling for Ms. Clinton’s nomination and election to the office of President in 2016. Plaintiff notes that as a standard industry practice, in order to use such a list, the vendor would require approval by the list owner, in this case Hillary Clinton. Additionally, plaintiff claims that Ready for Hillary sent its emails with "" in the "from" and "reply to" address fields. The "" domain is owned and paid for by Friends of Hillary, an authorized committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Plaintiff claims that by authorizing Ready for Hillary's use of the list and approving the content of its messages, Hillary Clinton has authorized Ready for Hillary PAC to perform campaign activity on her behalf. Under the Act and Commission regulations, anyone who has given consent to a committee to make expenditures in excess of $5,000 without disavowing any unauthorized campaign efforts is required to register with the Commission as a candidate and begin reporting. 52 U.S.C. § 30101(2)(b), 11 CFR 100.3(a)(2).

Plaintiff further alleges that Ready for Hillary, registered as a hybrid PAC (a nonconnected committee with a non-contribution account), should instead be registered as an authorized committee. As such, plaintiff alleges that the committee has received funds in excessive amounts and from impermissible sources in violation of commission regulations. 11 CFR 110.1-110.3. Furthermore, plaintiff alleges that the committee’s disclaimer and solicitation notices on communications do not comply with 11 CFR 110.11(b)(1). Finally, plaintiff claims that Ready for Hillary is attempting to evade the contribution limits and disclaimer requirements applicable to an authorized committee. 11 CFR 110.1(b).

Court complaint
In its court complaint, plaintiff says the Commission acknowledged receipt of its administrative complaint on January 29 and that the respondents would have been notified no later than February 3. Plaintiff contends that at no point in the intervening 316 days has a response been made.

Plaintiff claims that the Commission's alleged failure to act on its complaint has bestowed an illegal benefit on Hillary Clinton and Ready for Hillary PAC and has disadvantaged plaintiff.

Plaintiff asks the court to declare the FEC's failure to act "contrary to law." 52 U.S.C. § 30109(a)(8)(A). Furthermore, plaintiff asks the court to order the FEC to act on its complaint within 30 days, and to authorize Stop Hillary to bring a civil action if the FEC does not do so.


  • Author 
    • Christopher Berg
    • Communications Specialist