A case that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear next fall challenges campaign spending limits that have been in place since the Watergate scandal that toppled President Richard Nixon.Continue reading
Six months in to the first full election cycle in which Super PACs will play a role, the groups have combined to raise more than $26 million and are entering the second half of the year with about $23 million on hand.
Ninety-one Super PACs reported their receipts and disbursements to the FEC for all or part of the first six months of 2011. But the fundraising among the committees was dominated by a handful of groups, with the top five accounting for $22 million -- about 83 percent -- of the total.
One Super PAC alone -- Restore Our Future, which supports ...Continue reading
The Federal Election Commission voted unanimously Thursday to allow federal candidates and party officials to solicit limited contributions for Super PACs, groups that have changed the campaign-finance landscape in the past year by raising and spending unlimited amounts from indivuals, corporations and labor unions.
The draft Advisory Opinion that the commission approved says candidates and party officials can solicit up to $5,000 from individuals and other PACs.
The vote came in response to a request by two Democratic Super PACs -- Majority PAC and House Majority PAC -- which asked the FEC whether candidates could solicit unlimited contributions on their behalf ...Continue reading
Two new draft Advisory Opinions from the FEC's legal staff leave open the possibility that the commission will allow candidates and party officers to raise money — possibly without limits — for Super PACs.
The opinions, which were posted on the Federal Election Commission's website Tuesday and which are expected to be voted on by the commissioners Thursday, differ from a draft posted last week. That draft said candidates could appear at Super PAC fundraisers but could not solicit unlimited contributions. It did not address the possibility of raising limited amounts.
One of the drafts posted Tuesday, a revision of ...Continue reading
In response to a request by a pair of Democratic Super PACs, the Federal Election Commission has proposed a new rule that would allow members of Congress, federal candidates and national political party officials to appear and speak at fundraisers for independent expenditure-only committees, or Super PACs, but would bar them from asking corporations, labor unions or individuals for the unlimited contributions that fueled the spending of these outside groups in the 2010 election cycle.
The FEC issued the proposed rule, which will be considered at a commission meeting on June 30, after James Bopp Jr., the conservative lawyer who ...Continue reading
The House Majority PAC, one of the two Democratic Super PACs currently seeking permission from the Federal Election Commission to have federal candidates and party officials solicit funds for them, has disclosed its first batch of donors in the 2012 election cycle. Among the big givers are stalwart Democratic donors, including unions like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($200,000) and the Communications Workers of America ($50,000), individuals like Fred Eychaner ($100,000) and George Soros ($75,000), trial law firm Kazan McClain Lyons Greenwood & Harley ($10,000), tech company Integrated Archive Systems ($25,000 ...Continue reading
Bob Kerrey and Warren Rudman, two former U.S. Senators who are now co-chairs of Americans for Campaign Reform, gave testimony almost a decade ago documenting how raising big soft money donations to political parties had a corrupting effect on lawmakers. The see a similar corrupting effect should the Federal Election Commission rule that federal candidates and party officials can raise unlimited contributions from any source for Super PACs. The Campaign Legal Center agrees, arguing that candidates for federal office and party committee officials are barred from raising funds not subject to the limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act ...
Departing White House counsel Robert Bauer is returning to the election law practice he built at Perkins Coie, where his once and future colleagues have been active on behalf of a pair of Super PACs. The firm recently asked the Federal Election Commission to rule on whether politicians can raise unlimited sums from any source for "independent expenditure-only" groups.
As the Reporting Group previously reported, Perkins Coie filed an advisory opinion request with the FEC on behalf of two clients, the Majority PAC (formerly known as CommonSense Ten) and the House Majority PAC, asking whether candidates for federal office can ...Continue reading
Citizens United architect and campaign finance law foe James Bopp Jr. has seconded a request by Democratic campaign finance experts Perkins Coie for the Federal Election Commission to allow politicians and party committee officials to solicit corporations and labor unions for unlimited funds to be spent by independent expenditure-only committees, also known as Super PACs. Bopp's new client, the Republican Super PAC, has already outlined such a fundraising strategy to Republican party officials.
If approved, the Perkins Coie request, made on behalf of the Majority PAC and the House Majority PAC, would give FEC approval for a politician to ...Continue reading
Following on the heels of the new fundraising strategy laid out by James Bopp Jr. for Republican Super PAC, a pair of similar Democratic groups -- also known as independent expenditure-only committees -- have asked the Federal Election Commission to rule on whether party committee officials and candidates for federal office can permissibly raise unlimited funds from any source for these outside organizations.
The letter, sent on behalf of the House Majority PAC and the Majority PAC by Marc E. Elias, Ezra W. Reese and Jonathan S. Berkon of the Perkins Coie law firm, also asks whether candidates can participate in fundraisers ...Continue reading