Blog Category: FEC
At Aristotle, we’re always happy when people have fun with compliance. Didn’t think that was possible? As reported elsewhere, the House Ethics Committee’s “Holiday Gift Guidance for House Members and staff” came up with a rhyme this year. So, in the spirit of the season, here’s our own rhyming interpretation of the congressional gift rules.
The FEC recently released a memorandum and policy conclusion on the requirement for state political party committees to maintain monthly employee time logs. The decision amounts to a bad news/good news outcome for state parties. The action also serves as a useful reminder about the importance of the logs.
The Commission concluded that state party committees are required to keep monthly time logs for all committee employees (the bad news), but also announced that the Commission would not pursue enforcement action against committees who fail to keep logs for employees paid with 100% federal funds and reported as such (the good news).
Associations wrestling with the difficult “prior approval” process for PAC solicitation sometimes ask “do we really have to”? A recent FEC enforcement action is a reminder that fines and other penalties can be imposed when associations make PAC solicitations of persons without required prior approval (or direct membership in the association’s solicitable “restricted class”) or without required solicitation notices. FEC documents just released provide useful pointers about what is required as well as some reminders about what is permitted in association PAC fundraising.
“If the question is: Does the aggregate limit [on contributions] to candidates and party committees stop someone from spending all the money they want on politics? The answer is clearly no,” said David Mason, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and senior vice president at the political software and compliance firm Aristotle.
But that’s not the question before the court, Mason said. The justices must instead decide whether they agree with McCutcheon that the aggregate contribution limit poses no corruption risk to candidates or parties. McCutcheon, who’s been joined by the Republican National Committee in his challenge, argues it’s no more corrupting for him to give the maximum $2,600 to 17 candidates than, say, 18 candidates…
By: Ashley Carter
Manager, PAC Outsourcing
On October 8, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC. A case that some are calling the “new Citizens United,” McCutcheon challenges the constitutionality of biennial contribution limits.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, or BCRA, established biennial aggregate contribution limits for individuals ($74,600 for contributions to non-candidate committees and $48,600 for contributions to candidate committees).
“The only place the Federal Election Commission regulations would come into play is if he’s actually making a campaign stop,” said former FEC Chairman David Mason. “If it’s just political in the sense that he’s out there campaigning for his political agenda — immigration reform, health care — there’s certainly no FEC requirement that anybody else reimburse the White House.”
By: Ashley Carter
Outsourcing Account Manager
On June 27th, the Federal Election Commission passed an interpretive rule that clarified how political committees must report the “ultimate payee” for credit card payments, reimbursements to individuals and unreimbursed payments by candidates. While the reporting method outlined in the new rule has been the prescribed form of disclosure for years, it is important for the filing community to understand what this rule means for disclosure and recordkeeping practices.
Year-end FEC filings show campaigns using Aristotle software raised more money in 2012 election cycle
Patent-Pending Data Mining Techniques Powering Election-Year Fundraising Success
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Post-Election reports filed by 1,689 candidates with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show that those campaigns that used Aristotle software performed significantly better in fundraising than those who used any one of the next three most popular software products for fundraising and disclosure utilized in 2012.
Read the full article here >>
Since April, most of the TV ads supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have come from outside groups, not from Romney’s own campaign. And those groups raised more than half of their money from secret donors, according to a six-month study of ads…
Citizens United allowed corporate spending in support of individual candidates. But former Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason says the big effect was on donors’ thinking.
“I think there are two things going on. One is that the explosion of reported spending sort of encouraged more big donors to get into this space, to give large sums of money and be more active in politics,” Mason says.
Read the full article here >>
Those of you who struggle to comply with election law probably have a lot of choice words for it.
Super-election lawyer Jan Baran kicked off a recent PLI conference on election law with “arcane”. Jan cited a New York Times crossword clue looking for the a-word with the text “like election law.”
For Aristotle clients, and the 200 or so compliance professionals who sat through the 2 day PLI program, this is no surprise, but it is notable that this fact has crept into popular (well, at least New York Times-popular) consciousness.