Independent Expenditures for Ron Paul
- Posted by: "J. Clifton" mrjclifton@...
> Legal opinion, anybody?I'm not a lawyer ... I only play one on the internet ...
but I did read the entire FEC book of regs and had to
comply with all the provisions as a Congressional
candidate and Chairman of the RLCUSA-PAC. This
is my best understanding, but consult an attorney.
Any individual may receive or spend any amount
of money on a federal campaign without reporting ...
UNTIL that "independent expenditure" reaches the
campaign limit of $2,300 OR a cumulative total of
more than $5,000. Then, the individual is required
to provide the FEC with a report of receipts and all
expenditures for designated campaigns. Failure to
do so may result in prosecution.
This provision relates to *independent* campaign
communications: those that have NO consultation
or authorization from any official committee or PAC.
IF an individual consults with the campaign about any
expenditure, the candidate committee must report
that monetary or "in-kind" contribution.
Of course, the FEC doesn't (yet) have the ability
to monitor every individual's time, effort, expenses,
or purchases. Unless there is a blatant and obvious
public campaign effort, the FEC will only take action
when a violation is alleged (usually by an opponent
of the candidate you're supporting). When such a
complaint is filed, the FEC will issue a letter that
requests documentation of expenditures, with a
note of the potential civil penalties. To the best of
my knowledge, this is as far as the FEC has gone
in "enforcing" the independent expenditure rules,
but they do have the power to prosecute whenever
they please. The "hammer" letter is usually enough
to terminate the independent effort.
All of the FEC.gov regulations are on-line, but
don't ask me to explain every provision in detail.
It's all *intentionally* vague and convoluted ... with
the object of scaring anyone who is too effective ...
a subtle form of free-speech terrorism, perhaps.
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