Quite the agenda for the FEC meeting today: Citizens United, McCutcheon and Convention fundraising

by - October 09, 2014

II. FINAL RULES: INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES AND ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATIONS BY CORPORATIONS AND LABOR ORGANIZAITONS Agenda Document No. 14-53-A (Submitted Late) (Esther Gyory/Joanna Waldstreicher/Cheryl Hemsley/Robert Knop of the Office of the General Counsel)  

III. MCCUTCHEON V. FEC INTERIM FINAL RULE Agenda Document No. 14-51-A (Submitted Late) (Theodore Lutz/Amy Rothstein of the Office of the General Counsel)  

IV. MCCUTCHEON V. FEC ADVANCE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING Agenda Document No. 14-52-A (Submitted Late) (Theodore Lutz/Amy Rothstein of the Office of the General Counsel)   V. DRAFT ADVISORY OPINION 2014-12 Democratic National Committee by Robert Bauer, Esq., Marc Elias, Esq., and Graham Wilson, Esq. Republican National Committee by John R. Phillippe, Jr., Esq. and Ashley K. Stow, Esq. Agenda Document No. 14-50-A (Draft A) (Submitted Late) Agenda Document No. 14-50-B (Draft B) (Submitted Late)

Source: Open Meeting Agenda | October 9, 2014


Late Wednesday, the FEC posted several drafts of rules to be considered at a meeting Thursday.  One of the drafts implements the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, removing prohibitions on labor and corporate spending on independent political activity; it would also allow corporations and labor organizations to contribute to others engaging in independent political activity, including SuperPACs and regular PACs with separate independent-expenditure accounts. Another implements the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon, removing the aggregate limits on contributing to candidates, party committees, and PACs.  Still another announces an upcoming rulemaking to consider further refinement in light of McCutcheon, including potential adjustments to existing earmarking, affiliation, and disclosure rules to help prevent circumvention of the existing base limits on contributions. The FEC also released two draft advisory opinions.  The first is an AO requested by the DNC and RNC about whether they can fundraise separately for the 2016 presidential nomination conventions, in addition to limits on donations to the party committees generally.  Here’s the “yes” option; here’s the “no” option. The second is an AO requested by the two dueling Randolph-Macon College professors looking to replace Eric Cantor, about whether the college can continue paying fringe benefits while the candidates are on leave.  For those convinced that the FEC is hopelessly divided based on rank partisanship for every possible issue (I’ve got doubts), I look forward to a 3-3 deadlock with the 3 Republican nominees voting to allow the college to pay the Republican candidate, and a 3-3 deadlock with the 3 Democratic nominees voting to allow the same college to pay the Democratic candidate.

Source: 10/9 FEC Meeting: Citizens United, McCutcheon & More | Election Law Blog


About those AOs up later today:  the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 have opinions.

Source: On Party Fundraising for 2016 Conventions | Election Law Blog


The Commission is considering two drafts, one of which would authorize the parties to raise money under a separate limit and with disclosure for the conventions, and the other which would not. It will shock no seasoned observer of the scene to learn that Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 object to any additional, if limited and disclosed, funding for party convention activity.  What is most interesting in their comments are two specific contentions. One is an argument about fact, and the other a theory about the exercise of agency interpretive authority.

Source: Of Facts and Theories in Campaign Finance Argument: The Convention Financing Matter Before the FEC -

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