Rulemaking Petition: Filing Dates for Unauthorized Political Committees, 45116-45117 [2019-18504]

Download as PDF 45116 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 167 Wednesday, August 28, 2019 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Part 104 [Notice 2019–13] Rulemaking Petition: Requiring Reporting of Exchanges of Email Lists Federal Election Commission. Rulemaking Petition: Notification of availability. AGENCY: ACTION: On June 28, 2019, the Federal Election Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking asking the Commission to amend its existing regulation requiring political committees to report receipts and disbursements to specify that the regulation also applies to the receipt and disbursement of a mailing list or other valuable list, even if such a list is received or disbursed as part of an equal-value exchange. The Commission seeks comments on the petition. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 28, 2019. ADDRESSES: All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission’s website at http:// sers.fec.gov/fosers/, reference REG 2019–03. Alternatively, commenters may submit comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal Election Commission, Attn.: Esther Gyory, Acting Assistant General Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463. Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, last name, city, and state. All properly submitted comments, including attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission will make comments available for public viewing on the Commission’s website and in the Commission’s Public Records Office. Accordingly, commenters should not provide in their comments any information that they do not wish to make public, such as a home street address, personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social security number, or driver’s license number, or jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:07 Aug 27, 2019 Jkt 247001 any information that is restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Esther Gyory, Acting Assistant General Counsel, or Mr. Tony Buckley, Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694–1650 or (800) 424–9530. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 28, 2019, the Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking from the Campaign Legal Center (‘‘Petition’’). The Petition asks the Commission to amend 11 CFR 104.3 to clarify that ‘‘a political committee’s receipt or disbursement of a membership or other valuable list must be reported, even when the list was received or disbursed as part of a purported equal-value list swap.’’ Petition at 5. The Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101–45 (the ‘‘Act’’), and Commission regulations require a political committee to report its receipts and disbursements. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a); 11 CFR 104.3(a) (reporting of receipts), (b) (reporting of disbursements). The Act lists specific categories of receipts and disbursements that must be reported, such as contributions, expenditures, and transfers to and from other political committees, as well as ‘‘other forms of receipts,’’ 52 U.S.C. 30104(b)(2)(J), and ‘‘any other disbursements,’’ 52 U.S.C. 30104(b)(4)(G), (b)(4)(H)(v). Political committees must also report the total amount of all receipts and all disbursements. 52 U.S.C. 30104(b)(2), (b)(4). The Commission’s regulations implementing these statutory provisions require that political committees report contributions, expenditures, and other specified categories of receipts and disbursements, as well as ‘‘other receipts’’ and ‘‘other disbursements.’’ 11 CFR 104.3(a)(2)(viii), (b)(1)(ix), (b)(2)(vi). In several advisory opinions, the Commission has determined that an exchange of equally valued mailing lists between political committees would not result in a contribution or an expenditure, and therefore, would not be reportable under the Act. Advisory Opinion 1982–41 (Dellums) at 2; see also Advisory Opinion 2002–14 (Libertarian National Committee) at 5 (concluding that exchanges of mailing lists of equal value would not be PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 reportable event because ‘‘no ‘contribution, donation, or transfer of funds or any other thing of value’ takes place’’). The Petition argues that the Commission has improperly narrowed the scope of committees’ disclosure obligations ‘‘for lists that are received or disbursed as part of a purported equalvalue exchange.’’ Petition at 3. The Petition requests that the Commission amend 11 CFR 104.3 ‘‘to clarify that a political committee’s receipt or disbursement of a membership or other valuable list must be reported, even when the list was received or disbursed as part of a purported equal-value list swap.’’ Petition at 5. The Commission seeks comments on the Petition. The public may inspect the Petition on the Commission’s website at http://sers.fec.gov/fosers/, or in the Commission’s Public Records Office, 1050 First Street NE, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20463, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Commission will not consider the Petition’s merits until after the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the Petition has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will announce any action that it takes in the Federal Register. Dated: August 22, 2019. On behalf of the Commission. Ellen L. Weintraub, Chair, Federal Election Commission. [FR Doc. 2019–18511 Filed 8–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715–01–P FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Part 104 [Notice 2019–12] Rulemaking Petition: Filing Dates for Unauthorized Political Committees Federal Election Commission. Rulemaking Petition: Notification of Availability. AGENCY: ACTION: On June 14, 2019, the Federal Election Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking, which asks the Commission to amend its existing regulation that sets forth filing dates for unauthorized political committees. The proposed amendment would require any unauthorized committee that starts SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 167 / Wednesday, August 28, 2019 / Proposed Rules an election year as a quarterly filer to maintain that status through any primary elections in which the committee is involved. The Commission seeks comment on the petition. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 28, 2019. ADDRESSES: All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission’s website at http:// www.fec.gov/fosers, reference REG 2019–02. Alternatively, commenters may submit comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal Election Commission, Attn.: Mr. Robert M. Knop, Assistant General Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463. Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, last name, city, and state. All properly submitted comments, including attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission will make comments available for public viewing on the Commission’s website and in the Commission’s Public Records Office. Accordingly, commenters should not provide in their comments any information that they do not wish to make public, such as a home street address, personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social security number, or driver’s license number, or any information that is restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert M. Knop, Assistant General Counsel, or Ms. Jennifer G. Waldman, Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694–1650 or (800) 424– 9530. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 14, 2019, the Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking (‘‘Petition’’) from the Campaign Legal Center asking the Commission to amend 11 CFR 104.5(c)—which sets forth the filing dates for unauthorized political committees 1—to require any unauthorized committee that starts an election year as a quarterly filer to maintain that status through any primary elections in which the committee is involved. The Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101–45 (the ‘‘Act’’), provides unauthorized political 1 An unauthorized committee ‘‘is a political committee which has not been authorized in writing by a candidate to solicit or receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such a candidate, or which has been disavowed pursuant to [11 CFR 100.3(a)(3)].’’ 11 CFR 100.5(f)(2). VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:07 Aug 27, 2019 Jkt 247001 committees with two methods to report their receipts and disbursements to the Commission. The first method allows unauthorized committees to file semiannual reports in non-election years and quarterly reports in election years. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(4)(A). Quarterly filers that make contributions or expenditures in a primary or general election must file pre-election reports 12 days before the election and must report the committee’s election activities up to 20 days before the election. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(4)(A)(ii). All quarterly filers also must file a post-general election report no later than 30 days after the general election and must report the committee’s election activities up to 20 days after the election. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(4)(A)(iii). The second method allows unauthorized committees to file on a monthly basis, except that in election years, a monthly filer must file pre- and post-general election reports in lieu of the monthly report for November and December and a year-end report no later than January 31 of the following calendar year. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(4)(B). Monthly filers are not required to file pre- or post-election reports for primary elections. Id. Commission regulations allow an unauthorized committee to change the frequency of its reporting once every calendar year. To do so, an unauthorized committee must notify the Commission of its intent in writing at the time it files a required report under its current frequency and then file its next required report on the new filing frequency. 11 CFR 104.5(c). The Petition asks the Commission to open a rulemaking to amend section 104.5(c) ‘‘to ensure that all unauthorized committees are required to file a preelection report.’’ Petition at 4. The Petition argues that ‘‘a well-timed switch from reporting on a quarterly cycle to a monthly cycle just before a pre-election report is due can allow a political committee to take advantage of the laxer quarterly filing deadline, then avoid disclosing receipts and disbursements from the last few weeks of the campaign until after the election is over—when the information is of less value to voters.’’ Petition at 2. The Petition suggests that the Commission revise section 104.5(c) to prohibit committees from switching their filing schedules during an election year; prohibit committees from switching from quarterly to monthly filing in any quarter in which they participate in a primary; or establish that committees that switch to monthly filers automatically revert back to quarterly filers if they are involved in a primary PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 45117 in their first quarter after the switch. Id. at 4. The Commission seeks comments on the petition. The public may inspect the petition on the Commission’s website, at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, or in the Commission’s Public Records Office, 1050 First Street NE, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20463, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Commission will not consider the petition’s merits until after the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the petition has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will announce any action that it takes in the Federal Register. Dated: August 22, 2019. On behalf of the Commission, Ellen Weintraub, Chair, Federal Election Commission. [FR Doc. 2019–18504 Filed 8–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715–01–P FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Part 104 [Notice 2019–14] Rulemaking Petition: Requiring Reporting of Segregated Party Accounts Federal Election Commission. Rulemaking Petition: Notification of Availability. AGENCY: ACTION: On August 5, 2019, the Federal Election Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking asking the Commission to promulgate rules to specifically require reporting of receipts and disbursements of the accounts created by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. The Commission seeks comments on the petition. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 28, 2019. ADDRESSES: All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission’s website at http:// sers.fec.gov/fosers/, reference REG 2019–04. Alternatively, commenters may submit comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal Election Commission, Attn.: Esther Gyory, Acting Assistant General Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463. Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, last name, city, and state. All properly submitted comments, including attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission will SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 167 (Wednesday, August 28, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45116-45117]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18504]


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FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

11 CFR Part 104

[Notice 2019-12]


Rulemaking Petition: Filing Dates for Unauthorized Political 
Committees

AGENCY: Federal Election Commission.

ACTION: Rulemaking Petition: Notification of Availability.

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SUMMARY: On June 14, 2019, the Federal Election Commission received a 
Petition for Rulemaking, which asks the Commission to amend its 
existing regulation that sets forth filing dates for unauthorized 
political committees. The proposed amendment would require any 
unauthorized committee that starts

[[Page 45117]]

an election year as a quarterly filer to maintain that status through 
any primary elections in which the committee is involved. The 
Commission seeks comment on the petition.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 28, 2019.

ADDRESSES: All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged 
to submit comments electronically via the Commission's website at 
http://www.fec.gov/fosers, reference REG 2019-02. Alternatively, 
commenters may submit comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal 
Election Commission, Attn.: Mr. Robert M. Knop, Assistant General 
Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463.
    Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, 
last name, city, and state. All properly submitted comments, including 
attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission 
will make comments available for public viewing on the Commission's 
website and in the Commission's Public Records Office. Accordingly, 
commenters should not provide in their comments any information that 
they do not wish to make public, such as a home street address, 
personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social security 
number, or driver's license number, or any information that is 
restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or 
financial information that is privileged or confidential.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert M. Knop, Assistant General 
Counsel, or Ms. Jennifer G. Waldman, Attorney, Office of the General 
Counsel, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or 
(800) 424-9530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 14, 2019, the Commission received a 
Petition for Rulemaking (``Petition'') from the Campaign Legal Center 
asking the Commission to amend 11 CFR 104.5(c)--which sets forth the 
filing dates for unauthorized political committees \1\--to require any 
unauthorized committee that starts an election year as a quarterly 
filer to maintain that status through any primary elections in which 
the committee is involved.
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    \1\ An unauthorized committee ``is a political committee which 
has not been authorized in writing by a candidate to solicit or 
receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such a 
candidate, or which has been disavowed pursuant to [11 CFR 
100.3(a)(3)].'' 11 CFR 100.5(f)(2).
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    The Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-45 (the 
``Act''), provides unauthorized political committees with two methods 
to report their receipts and disbursements to the Commission. The first 
method allows unauthorized committees to file semi-annual reports in 
non-election years and quarterly reports in election years. 52 U.S.C. 
30104(a)(4)(A). Quarterly filers that make contributions or 
expenditures in a primary or general election must file pre-election 
reports 12 days before the election and must report the committee's 
election activities up to 20 days before the election. 52 U.S.C. 
30104(a)(4)(A)(ii). All quarterly filers also must file a post-general 
election report no later than 30 days after the general election and 
must report the committee's election activities up to 20 days after the 
election. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(4)(A)(iii).
    The second method allows unauthorized committees to file on a 
monthly basis, except that in election years, a monthly filer must file 
pre- and post-general election reports in lieu of the monthly report 
for November and December and a year-end report no later than January 
31 of the following calendar year. 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(4)(B). Monthly 
filers are not required to file pre- or post-election reports for 
primary elections. Id.
    Commission regulations allow an unauthorized committee to change 
the frequency of its reporting once every calendar year. To do so, an 
unauthorized committee must notify the Commission of its intent in 
writing at the time it files a required report under its current 
frequency and then file its next required report on the new filing 
frequency. 11 CFR 104.5(c).
    The Petition asks the Commission to open a rulemaking to amend 
section 104.5(c) ``to ensure that all unauthorized committees are 
required to file a pre-election report.'' Petition at 4. The Petition 
argues that ``a well-timed switch from reporting on a quarterly cycle 
to a monthly cycle just before a pre-election report is due can allow a 
political committee to take advantage of the laxer quarterly filing 
deadline, then avoid disclosing receipts and disbursements from the 
last few weeks of the campaign until after the election is over--when 
the information is of less value to voters.'' Petition at 2. The 
Petition suggests that the Commission revise section 104.5(c) to 
prohibit committees from switching their filing schedules during an 
election year; prohibit committees from switching from quarterly to 
monthly filing in any quarter in which they participate in a primary; 
or establish that committees that switch to monthly filers 
automatically revert back to quarterly filers if they are involved in a 
primary in their first quarter after the switch. Id. at 4.
    The Commission seeks comments on the petition. The public may 
inspect the petition on the Commission's website, at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, or in the Commission's Public Records Office, 1050 
First Street NE, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20463, Monday through 
Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    The Commission will not consider the petition's merits until after 
the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the petition 
has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will 
announce any action that it takes in the Federal Register.

    Dated: August 22, 2019.

    On behalf of the Commission,
Ellen Weintraub,
Chair, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 2019-18504 Filed 8-27-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6715-01-P