June 15, 2011 •
One PAC Is Enough
A Federal District Court judge has issued an injunction preventing the Federal Election Commission (FEC) from enforcing some campaign contribution limits against a political action committee planning to solicit and accept unlimited contributions.
As a single committee, the National Defense Political Action Committee (NDPAC) intends to contribute directly to candidates and political committees, and to make independent expenditures, separating the funds by using two separate bank accounts. It would maintain the statutory limits on the solicitation of funds used for direct contributions while simultaneously seeking unlimited funds for use in their independent expenditures.
The FEC had been unable to issue a binding resolution to an earlier NDPAC advisory opinion request.
In Carey v. FEC, United States District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ruled the FEC may not enforce 2 U.S.C. §§ 441a(a)(1)(C) and 441a(a)(3), which outline contribution limits for political committees and candidates, against NDPAC with regard to independent expenditures as long as NDPAC maintains separate bank accounts, proportionally pays related administrative costs, and complies with the applicable monetary limits of each type of contribution.
The FEC maintained NDPAC should establish a second formal committee.
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