E-Mail Reporting Requirements Too Burdensome - State and Federal Communications

July 18, 2011  •  

E-Mail Reporting Requirements Too Burdensome

Federal Election CommissionAn advisory opinion request seeking to lift the requirement of the 24- and 48-hour reporting of independent expenditures for bulk e-mailing during the 2012 presidential primaries has been filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Western Representation PAC (WRPAC), which has 140,000 e-mail addresses, and estimates it will have 500,000 by the end of the year, intends to send the entire list an indeterminate number of e-mail messages during the more than 24 president primaries in 2012. The frequency of messages would range “from as few as four a month to as many as thirty, depending on the unpredictable political developments of the day and the fluctuating urgencies of the primary season.”

Because WRPAC will be paying a fixed monthly price for the e-mail service, and because the number of e-mails is unpredictable, WRPAC is asking the FEC to grant an exemption from the 24- and 48-hour reporting requirement, stressing the difficulty in determining what share of the fixed monthly price would apply in order to determine whether a reporting requirement would be triggered across the various different primary dates. WRPAC’s request includes several scenarios to illustrate the burdens on WRPAC’s planned independent expenditures, arguing “that they rise to the level of an infringement on WRPAC’s First Amendment rights.”

You can find the press release here.

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