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Below, I try and write with a little humor, but this subject is very serious and your input in rewriting campaign law as requested by the FEC is vital.  By all means contact the FEC and oppose or support my views below.

Many complain the triumvirate meetings are too secret. However, the fact is few of you go even when you have the chance.   Some of you haven't been to a meeting in so long you have forgotten the triumvirate decides who gets to rule.  

This years meeting is about as open to the public as we dare make it.  You have a chance to provide your input.  So please, don't come complaining to me when the triumvirate announces its decisions after this silly thing called a "fair election".  

This years triumvirate will be hosted by the Federal Election Commission. Washington D.C.  Yeah!  I'm so tired of going to Texas so many times in a row.  

James, as usual, will represent the Republicans.  Expect him to push for more loop-holes and to defend the ones made wide so the Texan gang can spend spend SPEND!  

Fred looks like this meeting's surprise third player.  Bully Fred!  Expect Fred to start by pitching Chevron and Ashwander.  If he succeeds to convince the FEC, then super PACs will be declared illegal and we will use that to tell Romney to sit out another 4 more years.

Triumvirates meetings, unlike what most people believe, are rarely set in stone so there still may be a surprise or two down the road.  

So get off your butts people, do something.  Send your comments to the FEC give your input.

I'm posting my open letter here.  

If written this letter with to the FEC with the public in mind so that at least a few of you may actually learn about the campaign finance laws that decide who is elected.

Regards,

Philip B. Maise

p.s. I know many of you are busy discussing potato salad on this website, so please ignore subjects like mine that actually involve politics.

********************  
Open letter to the FEC on how to revise statutes.

To: Federal Election Commission
Attention: Chair Caroline C. Hunter,
               Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub

CC: Attorneys Herman, Kolker, Deeley, Chlopak, James, and Fred

Aloha,
Please accept the following input in regards to reinstatement and revision to 3 statutes that were deleted in the wake of EMILY's list.

I have requested that the Court in my lawsuit against super PACs and their donors to  issue a preliminary injunction that would reinstate the 3 deleted statutes as they were previous until new ones are revised.

I do not think it is necessary for the FEC to wait for this injunction, and think it should act immediately to reinstate the previous rules until new ones are drafted.

The FEC is congratulated!  It is so good it has decided to revisit statutes it changed that led to super PACs.   It has finally realized it was in error and I can't believe you are seeking public input at this time.  I want to get my input into the FEC ASAP.  

So here goes:

When addressing any problem, the FEC should begin with three points in mind:

1. There is a strong group of wealthy individuals that will spend money in anyway possible to influence elections so their desired candidates and party are elected.
2. For over 100 years, Congress has recognized this is bad for democracy. Congress set campaign contribution limits on individuals to try and prevent this from occurring.
3. The FEC was charged with the duty of enforcing the intention of Congress.
When considering any solution, the FEC should complete the following check list:
1. Is the solution in keeping with the intention of Congress?
2. Does the solution open up loop-holes to allow unlimited spending?
3. Will it stop simple illegal advertisements?
With these points in mind lets begin by summarizing the 3 statutes that were changed, and changed in this particular case means that they were completely deleted:

11 CFR 100.57 states that if a solicitation indicates that any funds received will be used to support or oppose the election of a clearly identified Federal candidate, those funds must be treated as contributions, unless such a solicitation also refers to a non-Federal candidate, in which case at least half of the funds received must be treated as contributions;

11 CFR 106.6(c) requires nonconnected political committees to use Federal funds to pay at least half of their administrative expenses, generic voter drives, and public communications that refer to a political party but no clearly identified  andidates; and

11 CFR 106.6(f) requires nonconnected political committees to use Federal funds to finance voter drives and public communications that refer to one or more clearly identified Federal candidates, but do not refer to any clearly identified non-Federal candidates, and requires such activities that refer to both Federal and non-Federal candidates be financed with a proportionate mix of Federal and non-Federal funds.

By far 11 CFR 100.57 is the most important change the FEC made and what really led to super PACs.  To correct this statute we must work on the FEC definitions.  

Contribution:  A contribution in a Federal election is anything of value given to influence a Federal election.
Fine, but not clear enough.  Who decides whether something influences a Federal election?  That answer is easy.  It is the reasonable person.  So reworking the statutes we must build in that test.

Notice now in the old statutes notice the use of the phrase “clearly identified Federal candidate”.  That is not going to fly.  This is obviously an attempt to establish a “bright-line” that defines electioneering in a way that allows people to evade the statute.  

The FEC cannot build loop-holes into statutes so they can be exploited.
 

It is not possible to avoid the reasonable person test when rewriting these statutes. It is not possible for the FEC to build in the ability for groups to make indirect references, use satire, or other creative expressions to evade the intention of Congress.

Either a reasonable person understands from the message that the sponsor of the message desires that they vote in one way or doesn't. There may be an occasional instance when the intentions of the speaker is uncertain, and a voter has no idea what fashion the speaker desired the voter to cast their vote. In these instances it is because the person that created the message intended it for narrow focus  audience that does understand exactly what was intended. The reasonable person in an instance like this becomes a reasonable person that is a member of that focus audience.

The statutes and attempts of the FEC to enforce the intentions of Congress are an utter failure if do not address simple ways to influence Federal elections.
If FEC statutes don't cover even the most simple forms of marketing the FEC needs to work on the statutes till they get it right.
In revamping the laws keep these hypothetical advertisements in mind:
First hypothetical television commercials seen by voters:
        Bright happy dancing people
        Swaying green palm trees
        Nice clean beach front
        Fun happy song
        Green shirts

        Nothing more,
            No text
            No party
            No message
            No candidates
            No slogans on shirts
            No mention of an election

                Disclaimer: Paid for by 24#*([&]

Would the above advertising be effective and influence a Federal election.  It most certainly would.  There probably isn't a person out there reading this that doesn't know exactly what this message meant.  Yet FEC statutes, as currently written, would permit a group to spend unlimited amounts of money to market a political party and candidates for Federal office on an unlimited basis.

The FEC must accept the fact that, particularly around election time, when someone is paying to advertise a message, there is some intention involved. Unless it is readily apparent that the intention is the consumer buy a particular product, it is more than likely that the intention is that they vote in a certain manner. Therefore, the FEC must watch and build within statutes language that encompasses the intention.

Second hypothetical television commercials seen by voters:
        Minister & marriage
        Wedding bells
        Flower girl
        Big church
        Big cake

        Nothing more,
            No text            
            No party
            No message
            No candidates
            No slogans on shirts            
            No mention of an election

            Disclaimer: Paid for by Nationwide Council to Protect Marriage

Again, this is another example of a very clear message to voters that influences a Federal election.  During the 2012 election one major party candidate signed a pledge to protect marriage and work towards a nationwide ban on same-sex marriages. Another candidate has come out in favor of same-sex marriages. The push to get voters to the polls of the party that will elect the candidate of your choice is clearly influencing a Federal election. Therefore, the hypothetical advertisement despite any claims it isn't about the Federal elections is suspect.

The FEC has to do its job. The commissioners of the FEC sit around all day and vote 3 to 3 against nearly everything and collect taxpayer money for doing nothing. So it is high time the FEC actually did what Congress intended. Unless the FEC can produce revised statutes that cover the most simple advertisements it should admit that it is nothing but a tool of the wealthy so they can control elections.

The FEC must recognize the lie. The bold face lie that stares them in the face.  “Issue only advertising" is largely a shame.

There is one and only one test to see if an issue group is really an issue group or a political action committee in disguise. That test is made by one and only person. Yup, same guy.  The reasonable person.  

Therefore, in revamping the statutes the FEC must also address the definition of a PAC so that it encompasses PACs that operate under the thin guise of an “issue group”.

As I personally wrote or rewrote most of the pages on Wikipedia regarding Political Action Committees, 527 Organizations, Issue advocacy, Dark money, Eight magic words, and related topics, I think have a little more ability then most to assist with redefinitions of some key terms. Here goes:

Non-Connected Political Action Committee (PAC): One or more than one individuals that receives or expends items of value that, when viewed by a reasonable person, is intended, or has the net effect, to influence voters.

Candidate Political Action Committee (PAC): The candidate himself, or candidate along with others that receives or expends items of value that, when viewed by a reasonable person, is intended, or has the net effect, to influence voters.

Federal Political Action Committee: A PAC wherein items of value exceed $1000 within a calendar year, and the intention of the contributor or net effect of the expenditures, when viewed by a reasonable person, influence voters in a Federal election.  

Individual Federal Campaign Contribution: The transfer of an item of value from an individual that, when viewed by a reasonable person, was made with the intention, or net effect, to influence a Federal election.

Federal Electioneering: The act of expending anything of value that, when viewed by a reasonable person, was intended, or has the net effect, to influence a Federal election.

Issue Advocacy Group: A group consisting of one or more individuals that receives or expends items of value that exceed $1,000 within a calendar year, and advocates for or against a position that, when viewed by a reasonable person, helps or hinders the election prospects of a candidate for Federal office that shares or opposes the groups position. Specifically included in this category are groups advocating for or against issues that concern citizens nationwide or across multiple states. Issues may encompass a variety of topics including abortion, same-sex marriages and adoptions, immigration, minimum wage, natural resources, medical insurance, medicare, social security, and the large construction projects that
extend across State multiple state lines.

Specifically cautioned in this regard are organizations that may not otherwise recognize their actions to actively support or oppose a specific position or cause may constitute electioneering owing to their issue advocacy. Organizations like this are human rights groups, churches, fraternal associations, non-profits, and leadership groups.

These definitions may require some slight polish. However, compare them against the hypothetical advertisements presented. Notice in both cases the clear intention of the those that paid for the advertisements are governed now according to the intention of Congress.  One argument presented to the FEC in the past is people are very stupid. Those that made this  argument tended to be high priced attorneys that were trying to maintain or build in loop holes. They whined that advertisers wouldn't accept messages from groups trying exercise their of free speech because advertisers are too stupid to discern that is electioneering.

This argument is completely groundless and know how much trouble the Court can get into (violation of Ashwander) and FEC can get into (violation of Chevron).


Back up the beginning of our meeting when recited the tenants of the FEC.

1. There is a strong group of wealthy individuals that will spend money in anyway possible to influence elections so their desired candidates and party are elected.

2. For over 100 years, Congress has recognized this is bad for democracy. Congress set campaign contribution limits on individuals to try and prevent this from occurring.

3. The FEC was charged with the duty of enforcing the intention of Congress.
The duty of the FEC has nothing to do with protecting free speech. Further, anyone can see right through those that fabric this argument. Those claiming they want to “protect free speech”, or have the audacity to slander the name James Madison are doing so to enable wealthy individuals to violate the intentions of Congress.

Anyone that suspects a message they are about to transmit to a voter constitutes electioneering need only ask a few questions.
1. Is the group legally operating PAC (super PACs are not), or is it a shame issue group supported by wealthy campaign contributors hiding their illegal actions? If so no problem.

2. Did the group asking for the broadcast of the message show up right around election time and did it seem to spring from no where? If so it is suspect.

3. Does the message itself contain content that a reasonable person when viewing would conclude supported a particular candidate or candidates position?
When in doubt, the television station, or newspaper, that suspects or worries that the message they are about to broadcast is really a political advertisement and constitutes electioneering only need ask the reasonable person

.

The reasonable person is everywhere and available to answer questions at anytime.
There is no need to bother the FEC nor the Courts. The board cast executive, if in personal doubt based upon his own personal knowledge, need only ask fellow staff members. In the two hypothetical examples given one or more of the staff members would no doubt know about the Green Party or heard that Mitt Romney has pledged to work towards a nationwide ban on same-sex marriages or adoptions.
It is basically illogical that the broadcast executive wouldn't know these things given the nature of their business.

Notice in this example the advocacy for or against the issue constitutes advocacy for or against a Presidential candidate. These means 100% of the funds used for or against the issue count as Federal election campaign contributions. The funds influence voters on the issue and drives voters to vote one way in a Federal election.
The reasonable person test in general can be thought of as something that blocks the loop-holes. It is not possible to get around the test and come up with a creative way to support a candidate by trying to evade the law. As the real example above demonstrates anyone that made large donations to groups in favor or against same-sex marriages may very well be doing so, not because of their on believe on the
issue, rather it is an attempt to influence a Federal campaign.

According to the ruling of EMILY's List v. the FEC, the Court requested that the FEC to stay within it's own jurisdiction and only control monies associated with Federal electioneering and to allow organizations that wanted to spend at the State level to be controlled by State level election commissions.

In order to incorporate the desire of the Court and the reasonable person test into one set of rules, the principle problem is determining what monies are truly spent to influence State level elections, what monies are spent to influence Federal elections, and whether some monies are spent to influence both.  At the State level, there are the same political parties as at the Federal level. Voters have a tendency to vote based upon party affiliation. Therefore, campaign contributions at the State level influence Federal elections.

If big campaign donor desired a particular Federal candidate or Federal party, all they need do is make contributions at the State level to candidates of the same party that will in turn influence the Federal election.

As the two examples given demonstrate there can be clear influences upon Federal elections with no mention of any election whether it is at State or Federal level. A large portion of money currently spent at State level influences Federal elections and there is no bright-line rules the FEC can impose to differentiate the two.

It isn't until elections get down to the City and local level that the connection between the State and Federal elections begins to breakdown. For example, many areas have non-party specific elected city councilmen, city mayors, county officials, etc.. Fortunately, the spending at local levels on these types of offices tends to be on orders of magnitude far smaller than on either State of Federal level.

Therefore, the question that the FEC posed regarding PACs and how they should subdivide accounts into Federal level and State level is rendered easily answered by accepting the above facts.

The reality is there is no such thing as significant State level spending that doesn't influence Federal elections.
It is certainly true, this flies in the face of both EMILY's Court and SpeechNow.org Courts. However, both of these Courts are clearly in error and the FEC can tell confidently inform these Courts to take a hike. It was not possible for these Courts to demand the FEC to change the law and these Courts were in error for considering constitutional issues owing to Ashwander. At best these judges were overworked individuals who fail to understand Chevron.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Hollen appears to be the only rational judge in the D.C. Circuit who understands common law. She correctly pointed at the exact Supreme Court precedence cases. The cases that vex the FEC violated the intention of Congress and ask the FEC to violate its basis for being.

To set matters in a forward fashion, the FEC must look back at the original intention of Congress when it created the Acts that it was charged to enforce. These Acts clearly indicate Congress's intention that there be individual contribution limits.

It is impossible for these three things to co-exist:

A. A limit when making contributions directly to candidates.

B. No limits when making contributions to third parties.

C. Common law and reasonable person test.

The FEC knows which direction it must go. It can't eliminate the reasonable person test and stop the United States from using common law. Congress clearly intended individual contribution limits.

Therefore, it has only one option. It must remove its stance that unlimited individual contributions to third parties used to influence a Federal election are legal.
The FEC is reminded that in SpeechNow.org the court specifically stated that it did not wish the FEC to consider its ruling to change limitations on contributions direct to a candidate. That ruling was subsequent to EMILY's List and by the same Court sitting en blanc. Further the First Circuit Court in NOM v. McKee on January 31, 2012 ruled again how the reasonable person test is utilized to determine if a contribution counts as if made directly. All the contributions made to PACs when there is prior knowledge by contributor that it will support a particular candidate or party constitute contributions directly to candidates.

Therefore, clearly the FEC must address what goes into the PACs account before the issue of dividing it into State and Federal levels. The amount that is eventually attributed between accounts must be legal on both Federal and State levels.
Now lets return the the bigger problem. What is Federal level versus State level electioneering and where is the line between jurisdiction between the FEC and State level commissions?

However, before we get to that lets talk seriously about the D.C. Circuit Court. I mean real seriously.
Why was the FEC convicted in EMILY's List and SpeechNow.org?
#1 The FEC wasn't the real party of interest. Come on this is law school 101. The FEC allowed itself to be drawn into suits because it was named. The real party of interest was the one that created the law, not the one charged to enforce it. Both EMILY's List and SpeechNow.org wanted to change the law.  However, the FEC can't do that according to Chevron. Only the U.S. Congress could. FRCP Rule 17.

#2 I know this is difficult. Understanding the law usually is. The FEC was wrongly convicted. There is no doubt about it. Look again carefully at the questions before the Court, look at the Court rulings, and ask yourself in light of Chevron, could the FEC change the law? Could the FEC do what the Court asked? Could the Court go against Ashwander? The answers are a resounding NO.

#3 So why was Hollen different? Hollen didn't seek to violate the intention of Congress. Hollen sought the enforcement of the law as intended by Congress. The Court did not need to consult with Congress regarding the question of Congressional intention. It was clear from the plan text of the Act that led to the creation of the FEC. Both EMILY's List and SpeechNow.org ignored the plain text of the Act that said limits applied, and claimed limits did not apply to their particular case. In short Hollen sued to get the FEC do to the job it was charged with doing and the others sued to change the rules.

#4 Oh does this make this so easy. The FEC can go back in the court room and announce. Hey! You convicted the wrong guy and both of these Courts can only do one thing. There rulings must be set aside. Again it is absolutely impossible for the FEC to fulfill the intention of that Court, and comply with Congress at the same time. As Congress was the real party of interest in those cases the FEC was wrongly convicted.

#5 Here are a few tangential points.  Did the Plaintiff's file a separate independent action to comply with the ruling? FRCP Rule 64(b). I have not seen a Courts signature upon the changes made to the statutes as a result of the rulemaking meetings. I've seen no notice of satisfaction of judgment. Perhaps if the FEC and the Plaintiffs actually followed basic FRCP procedures the Court would have finally realized that it was asking the FEC to do something it couldn't comply with.

#6 Having the Courts rethink whether they wrongly convicted the FEC tosses both EMILY's List and SpeechNow.org into the waste bin where they belong. They belong there because a reasonable person when looking at a tremendous amount of money spent on State elections to support one party would conclude that the money will also influence a Federal Election. The two cannot be separated. Further, a tremendous amount of money spent against same-sex marriages directly influences and supports the Federal candidate for office that supports a national ban.

So where do we go?

Again easy. There can be no division in common law and the reasonable person test between money contributed to special interest groups, State level elections, or Federal level elections. Further there is no division between funds sent directly to a candidate and funds sent to a third party. They are all one in the same.
There are two sets laws in play here. Federal laws and State laws. Fortunately, we are only discussing one campaign contributor and one action by a PAC or special interest group at a time. Looking on this basis here are the suggested rules;
All contributions made to any organization that, when viewed by a reasonable person, intends to expend the money to influence the outcome of any election, or ballot measure, where there is a Federal candidate for office on the same ballot will be considered to be a Federal campaign contribution and subject to disclosure and limitation according to FEC rules as if it were made to a candidate or party directly.

The same applies to expenditures made by individuals directly. When the contribution is
made to any organization that, when viewed by a reasonable person, supports a single issue, or supports a single candidate, the maximum individual contribution is equal to the maximum as if given directly to a single Federal candidate for office. When the contribution is made to any organization that, when viewed by a reasonable person, supports 5 or more candidates roughly equally, the maximum individual contribution is equal to the maximum as if given directly to a political party. Contributions
in all cases whether given at the State level, or Federal level count against an individuals maximum Federal contribution limits whether there is a candidate for Federal office on the same ballot.

Exception: Candidates for office may contribute to their own campaigns from their own personal funds according to the regulations.

Notes:
#1 To avoid this regulation, States may not separate Federal candidates for office onto a special ballot so a claim can be made that they are not on the same ballot.

#2 It is up to the individual States how they address spending in their State. In general, a State should consider any money spent within their State whether it is claimed as Federal or State spending to be State spending.

#3 All special interest groups and PACs the expend money to influence any election on which a Federal candidate appears for office must report to the FEC and provide disclosures and reports even if their spending is only on State level elections. This specifically includes groups that campaign for against ballot measures that, while being voted upon at the State level, nonetheless represent a national concern extending beyond State boundaries. For example: State ballot measures for or against abortion,
adoption or marriage by same-sex couples, immigration, environmental issues, right to life, etc applies.

Local ballot measures that have little or no national significance are exempt. For example: electioneering regarding a ballot measure for or against a new sports stadium, convention center, or airport are not significant national concerns.

#4 Treasurers do NOT have to keep separate funds is special segregated accounts according to State and Federal elections. This said, they must still adhere to State and Federal maximum contribution limits and reporting procedures. At time of receipt, 100% of the funds are counted against an individual's contribution limits at the Federal level.

Based upon the above the rewrites to the 3 statues would be as follows:

11 CFR 100.57 If a reasonable person when viewing the totality of the situation would conclude that the intention of an individual's contribution, or the net effect of the anticipated expenditure resulting from the contribution, would influence a Federal election, those funds must be treated as federal campaign contributions and are subject to an individual's Federal contribution limits.

The limits to non-candidate committees and issue advocacy groups are the same as if given to an individual candidate's committee. When non-candidate committees can demonstrate the monies they receive are ear marked and utilized to support a minimum of 5 candidates for State or Federal offices on a roughly equal basis, the limit is the same as if giving to directly to a national party committee. All contributions to non-candidate committees or issue advocacy groups count against an individual's annual and biennial contribution limits.

Treasurers of committees are specifically cautioned to be on the look out for contributors that claim they are exempt from contribution limits owing to a claim that they are a corporations, non-profits, LLCs, foundations, or other like legal entities. The ultimate source of funds from groups like these may have been individuals that were attempting to avoid the individual contribution limits. If the group making the donation is relatively new, cannot be located by simple searches on the Internet, or carries the personal name of the individual signing the check are some clues that should prompt further exploration.  When an individual has declared his candidacy for Federal office, or when an individual is  generally thought of in the press as being a likely candidate for office, all payments made to that candidate or to a firm the candidate works for, may be considered to be campaign contributions if, when viewed by a reasonable person, the likely reason the candidate or candidate's firm were hired was to provide support for the candidate future Federal campaign.

For example: an
individual, who is thought to be a likely candidate for office, could in theory be hired by
individuals or groups to make lucrative speaking engagements or to conduct expensive
consultancies that channel funds to the candidate. Any voter within the district of the
candidate, or any competing candidate, may lodge a formal complaint with the FEC containing a reasonable justification that the payments were intended to assist the candidates campaign efforts. The FEC will consider the size, timing, and nature of the services rendered and if there is a reasonable suspicion that payments were questionable, the FEC must request answer the complaint and request details regarding the transaction from any of those associated. If the FEC deems it reasonable to conclude the payments were intended to assist the candidate's Federal
election, the payments will be considered to be a campaign contribution. When groups have made the payment, the source of the campaign contribution may be ascribed back to those individuals that supported the group and any excessive contribution on the part of individuals handled in accordance with FEC policy.

11 CFR 106.6(c) Nonconnected political committees have no special status that differentiates them from a candidates committee. A nonconnected political committee must deposit funds it has received, as viewed by a reasonable person, to influence a Federal election, or a State election that contains a candidate for Federal office on the same ballot, into a separate account that may be drawn upon for any purpose. Treasurers of nonconnected political committees are required to act in the same manner required by treasurers of a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committee and return any the excess contribution to the person who made the
contribution.

11 CFR 106.6(f) Issue advocacy groups may receive and retain funds in excess of a persons individual campaign contribution limit. Treasurers of groups like this must maintain three separate funds. No expenditures of any items of value may be made by the issue advocacy group that, when viewed by a reasonable person, influence the chances of a candidate for Federal office unless the source of the funds is a separate account called the Federal fund account. Monies that go into the Federal fund account may come from two sources. These two sources are new monies received for direct deposit into the account, and monies held over in the Reserve account.

When monies are received into the Federal fund, they must be reported to the FEC. Monies from individuals are subject to the Federal individual campaign contribution limit for one election as if the donation was made to a Federal candidate for office directly. Currently, that contribution limit is $2,500 per election, however, each calendar year, the Federal fund may receive the maximum per election.

Monies from non-individuals may be received into the Federal fund are currently not limited, however, treasurers reminded to be cautious regarding receipt of such funds to ensure they are not really originating from private individuals.

When an issue advocacy group receives individual contributions that exceed an individuals contribution limits, the treasurer shall make an attempt to provide the individual with one of the following three options:

A. Return the excess funds to the contributor.

B. Retain the funds in a Reserve account that can be drawn upon by the group in future years.  This option should include a notice to the contributor that when the funds are withdrawn they will count against the individuals maximum limit.

C. Transfer the funds into the organizations General fund that may be utilized by the
organization provided the activity isn't, when viewed by a reasonable person, issue advocacy.

Note: Notice to the contributor of excess funds should include a note regarding the ability of the individual to take a tax deduction. In many situations, the amount of the money contributed into the Federal and Reserve funds will not be eligible for a tax deduction, whereas monies transferred into the General fund may be eligible.
All payments for issue advocacy must come from the Federal fund and be reported to the FEC.  Issue advocacy groups are cautioned that individual States may also have limitations and disclosure requirements regarding monies spent on ballot initiates. These may have lower thresholds for reporting and smaller maximums. The fact that Federal thresholds and maximums may be higher than State levels do not override any spending that takes place within a State. The converse does not apply. When State maximums and thresholds exceed those set by the Federal government, the Federal government's standards apply.

Issue advocacy groups are free to select multiple states to expend their Federal funds.
At the end of each accounting year any remaining funds in the Federal fund must be transferred to the Reserve account. The balance of each account holder in the reserve account must be inflated equally. When funds are drawn from the Reserve account, the draw must be ascribed to individual account holders, and notification must be sent to the FEC, and State regulators if applicable, as well as the account holder so the original account holder knows how much was utilized.

Issue advocacy groups may not draw upon their General account to make payments into either the Federal or Reserve account. The General account may be used for any activity accept for the transfer of funds to another group or candidates for office that in turn uses it for issue advocacy or electioneering. Issue advocacy groups are specifically not organizations that may make donations to other groups in accordance with Citizen's United. If they were, this would defeat the whole purpose of the Federal fund since they could simply transfer funds to the General account and from there to another group. Treasurers are cautioned that activity of that nature is a form of money laundering and it will not be tolerated by the FEC.

Once these changes are enacted, the FEC's will be doing the job Congress intended, and its job will be easier.

Philip B. Maise
 

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