October 9, 2014 •
National Convention Committees May Accept Political Contributions Separate from Contributions Given to National Party Committees
Today, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) issued an advisory opinion allowing national convention committees to accept contributions separate from national party committees. The decision was supported by Democratic commissioner Ann Ravel and the three Republican commissioners, Lee Goodman, Caroline Hunter, and Matthew S. Petersen. The immediate effect is individuals may now contribute an additional $32,400 per calendar year to a convention committee beyond the $32,400 limit permitted to be given to committees of national political parties. The opinion holds that both the National Democratic Committee and the National Republic Committee, who requested the opinion, may each establish convention committees to raise and spend federal funds for convention expenses under separate contribution limits. The FEC found such convention committees qualify as “national committees” subject to their own contribution limits.
Additionally, in a 4-2 decision, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) approved final rules concerning independent expenditures and electioneering communications by corporations and labor organizations. Ravel again joined the three Republican commissioners to pass the rules, which were created in response to the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC U.S. Supreme Court decision. They will be effective once they have been transmitted to Congress for a 30-legislative-day review period.
The FEC also approved rule-making and interim final rule responses to McCutcheon v. FEC.
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