URGENT Warning to DELEGATES: Do Not Accept ANY Contributions from Foreign SourcesSubmitted by Kathleen Gee on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 18:21
In 2008, I helped to form a PAC in support of Ron Paul. As part of that process I had to become intimately familiar with the Federal Election Commission rules regarding accepting donations from foreign nationals. This information was all confirmed by an attorney who specialized in election law.
There are NO circumstances under which a Ron Paul Delegate should accept any funds from a foreign source, either directly or indirectly. Foreigners are NEVER allowed to spend money in connection with U.S. elections. It is also against the law for U.S. Citizens to accept foreign funds in connection with U.S. elections.
Read that wording again: "in connection with any federal state or local election...either directly or indirectly."
Some have said that because the GOP is a private organization, this prohibition on foreign money does not apply, because the elections that happen at GOP events aren't real "elections." However, common sense indicates that GOP caucuses and conventions are held IN CONNECTION WITH federal, state or local elections. It's absurd to state otherwise. Local caucuses and Presidential Preference Polls, and District and County and State conventions are an integral part of the process of nominating a candidate for President of the United States.
This was clarified in an August, 2011 ruling by a a three-judge panel whose opinion was that a federal law banning foreign donations is constitutional. As reported in Politico,
"The Supreme Court has drawn a fairly clear line: the government may exclude foreign citizens from activities 'intimately related to the process of democratic self-government,'" Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote in an opinion joined by District Court Judges Ricardo Urbina and Rosemary Collyer. "Politicial contributions and express-advocacy expenditures are an integral aspect of the process by which Americans elect officials to federal, state, and local government offices."
The judges noted that the Supreme Court has approved laws that allow only citizens to serve as schoolteachers, police and probation officers. "Spending money to influence voters and finance campaigns is at least as (and probably far more) closely related to democratic self-government than serving as a probation officer or public schoolteacher," Kavanaugh wrote.
So, as a fellow Ron Paul supporter and Patriot, I'm begging Foreign Nationals: PLEASE do not give Dr. Paul's enemies any ammunition that the government, Romney campaign, RNC and corrupt media can use against him! To those lucky enough to be Delegates: PLEASE do not give the RNC or your State GOP any reason to disqualify you, or worse, send you to prison for breaking FEC regulations!
Foreigners, this means...
Do not donate to the Ron Paul for President campaign, local or state parties, individual delegates, canvassing, advertising, products, services, handouts, flyers, Superbrochures, blimps, products sold by the Campaign, chip-ins for gas or hotel rooms or food for delegates, hospitality suites at conventions, pizza donations or anything else "connected with the process by which Americans will elect officials to federal, state and local government offices."
Rule of thumb: if your are NOT a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, and your proposed donation is intended in any way whatsoever to help Ron Paul get elected, you should assume it's against the law.
Here are excerpts from the relevant sections from the Code of Federal Regulations:
Title 11: Federal Elections
CHAPTER I: FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
SUBCHAPTER A: GENERAL
PART 110: CONTRIBUTION AND EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS AND PROHIBITIONS
110.20 - Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (2 U.S.C. 441e, 36 U.S.C. 510).
(b) Contributions and donations by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.
(f) Expenditures, independent expenditures, or disbursements by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make any expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.
(g) Solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of contributions and donations from foreign nationals. No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.
(h) Providing substantial assistance. (1) No person shall knowingly provide substantial assistance in the solicitation, making, acceptance, or receipt of a contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d), and (g) of this section.
(i) Participation by foreign nationals in decisions involving election-related activities. A foreign national shall not direct, dictate, control, or directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of any person, such as a corporation, labor organization, political committee, or political organization with regard to such person's Federal or non-Federal election-related activities, such as decisions concerning the making of contributions, donations, expenditures, or disbursements in connection with elections for any Federal, State, or local office or decisions concerning the administration of a political committee.
You can find the "Cliff's Notes" version of CFR Title 11 in the Federal Election Commission Foreign Nationals Brochure
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
Foreign donors, you're free to disagree with me and interpret the law in your own way, of course. But I have to ask you...if there's any chance at all that your donation can get Ron Paul or his delegates in trouble, why would you take that risk, when so many are working so hard and sacrificing so much? Why give our opposition any help?
U.S. Citizens and delegates, same question for you. If there's any chance that your encouragement of foreign campaign contributions can send you to jail or get Ron Paul or his delegates in trouble, why take the risk?
If you have any questions after reading this, please do not argue with me or ask me for clarification. I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. It is my opinion formed as a result of my own research and advice from an attorney in 2008. Contact the FEC in Washington, D.C., at 1-800-424-9530 or 202-694-1100 if you have questions.