DELEGATES - MUST read: Official Confirmation Of FEC Rules Governing Delegate Fundraising (No, You Can't Take $ From Foreigners)Submitted by Kathleen Gee on Fri, 05/18/2012 - 14:10
I spoke to an Information Specialist at the FEC this morning regarding contributions to Delegates for travel expenses, etc. If you would like to hear this info from the horse's mouth, call (800) 424-9530 or (202) 694-1100 and choose Option 6. The Information Specialist directed me to the following publication:
FEC Rules for National Convention Delegates, published in March 2008 (Updated February 2011)
The following are excerpts from that publication, which EVERY DELEGATE should read in its entirety, at the above link. Citations are to FEC regulations in Title 11, Code of Federal Regulations.
To Whom Do These Rules Apply?
These rules apply to any individual who is seeking selection as a delegate, or who has already been selected as a delegate, at any level of the delegate selection process (local, state or national). 11 CFR 110.14(b)(1).
How are Funds Raised and Spent for Delegate Activity Treated Under Federal Campaign Finance Law?
Funds raised and spent for delegate selection are considered "contributions" and "expenditures" made for the purpose of influencing a federal election1and are therefore subject to the federal law's prohibitions.2 11 CFR 110.14(c)(1) and (2). Although the law generally does not limit contributions per delegate, 11 CFR 110.1(m)(1) and 110.14(d), certain other contribution limits apply. See e.g., 11 CFR 110.5(e). Please note that these prohibitions and limits apply to contributions of goods and services (in-kind contributions) as well as to monetary contributions. 11 CFR 100.52(d).
Who is Prohibited From Contributing to a Delegate?
Individual delegates may not accept any contributions from sources prohibited from making contributions in connection with federal elections. 11 CFR 110.14(c)(2). These sources include:
• Corporations (including banks and nonprofit corporations);
• Labor organizations;
• Foreign nationals or businesses (except "green card" holders--those admitted to the United States for permanent residence); and
• Federal government contractors (such as partnerships and sole proprietors with federal contracts). 11 CFR 110.20; 114.2; 115.2, 115.4 and 115.5.
What are the Limits on Contributions to Delegates?
Although contributions to an individual delegate are not subject to any per delegate limit, they do count against an individual contributor's biennial contribution limit of $117,000. 11 CFR 110.1(m); 110.5(e) and 110.14(d)(1).3
Do these Rules Apply if I'm Only Raising Money to Pay for Travel to the Convention?
Yes. Travel and subsistence expenses related to the delegate selection process and the national nominating convention are considered "expenditures." 11 CFR 110.14(e). Thus, a delegate may not use prohibited funds to pay for travel to attend the national convention and related food and lodging expenses. Advisory Opinions (AOs) 2000-38 and 1980-64.
May Delegates Join Together to Raise and Spend Funds?
Yes. Under FEC regulations, they would be acting as a delegate committee. A delegate committee is a group that raises or spends funds to influence the selection of one or more delegates. A delegate committee may be a group of delegates or a group that supports delegates. 11 CFR 110.14(b)(2).
Do Delegate Committees Have to File FEC Reports?
Possibly. A delegate committee becomes a "political committee" under federal law once it receives contributions or makes expenditures exceeding $1,000 in a calendar year. 11 CFR 100.5(a) and (e)(5); 110.14(b)(2). At that point, the committee must register with the FEC within 10 days and begin filing periodic FEC reports to disclose its receipts and disbursements. 11 CFR 102.1(d) and 104.1(a). All pre-registration activity must be disclosed in the first report. 11 CFR 104.3(a) and (b). Note that a delegate committee that has triggered status as a federal political committee must include the word "delegate" or "delegates" in its name. It may also include the name of the Presidential candidate it supports. 11 CFR 102.14(b)(1).
Do Contribution Prohibitions and Limits Apply to Delegate Committees?
The same sources that are listed above as prohibited from making contributions to a delegate are also prohibited from making contributions to a delegate committee. 11 CFR 110.14(c)(2) The following limits apply to contributions made to delegate committees:
• Contributions from permissible sources to a delegate committee are subject to an aggregate limit of $5,000 per calendar year. 11 CFR 110.1(d)(1) and (m)(2); 110.14(g)(1). Note, however, that if the delegate committee is affiliated with a Presidential campaign, it will share the limit applicable to the Presidential campaign. 11 CFR 110.3(a).
• Contributions by individuals to delegate committees count against an individual contributor's biennial contribution limit of $117,000. 11 CFR 110.5(e).
Read the entire publication here: FEC Rules for National Convention Delegates
As a Delegate for Ron Paul, you are responsible for knowing the laws that govern your activity and abiding by them to both (1) keep yourself out of jail and (2) ensure that the Rombama operatives have no reason whatsoever to challenge your seating as a Delegate at your local, district, county, state or National conventions.