Statement of Policy Regarding Treasurers' Best Efforts To Obtain, Maintain, and Submit Information as Required by the Federal Election Campaign Act
The Federal Election Commission (the ``Commission'') is issuing a Policy Statement to clarify its enforcement policy with respect to the circumstances under which it intends to consider a political committee and its treasurer to be in compliance with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended (``FECA''). Section 432(i) of FECA provides that when the treasurer of a political committee demonstrates that best efforts were used to obtain, maintain, and submit the information required by FECA, any report or records of such committee shall be considered in compliance with FECA or the statutes governing the public financing of Presidential candidates. In the past, the Commission has interpreted this section to apply only to a treasurer's efforts to obtain required information from contributors to a political committee, and not to maintaining information or to submitting reports. However, the district court in Lovely v. FEC, 307 F. Supp. 2d 294 (D. Mass. 2004), held that the Commission should consider whether a treasurer used best efforts under FECA with regard to efforts made to submit a report in a timely manner. This Policy Statement makes clear that the Commission intends to apply FECA's best efforts provision to treasurers' and committees' efforts to obtain, maintain, and submit information and records to the Commission consistent with the holding of the Federal court in Lovely. Further information is provided in the supplementary information that follows.
Federal Election Activity and Non-Federal Elections
The Federal Election Commission requests comments on proposed revisions to the definition of the phrase ``in connection with an election in which a candidate for Federal office appears on the ballot.'' This phrase is part of the definition of ``Federal election activity'' (``FEA'') and is used to determine whether voter identification, get-out-the-vote activity, and generic campaign activities are FEA, subject to certain funding limits and prohibitions under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (``FECA''). The proposed rule would make permanent, with certain minor revisions, an Interim Final Rule that excluded from FEA certain voter identification and get-out-the-vote activities conducted exclusively for non-Federal elections. Further information is provided in the supplementary information that follows.