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Independent Expenditures for Ron Paul

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  • westmiller@aol.com
    Posted by: J. Clifton mrjclifton@yahoo.com ... I m not a lawyer ... I only play one on the internet ... but I did read the entire FEC book of regs and had
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2007
      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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