Saturday, December 31, 2016

FEC Rejects Clinton Campaign Joint Fundraising Operations Complaint

The Cherunda Fox Complaint alleges that a "Hillary Clinton Fundraiser" held on April 15th, 2016, raised contributions in excess of the applicable limits.

For the reasons set forth below, we recommend that the Commission find no reason to believe that the Respondents violated the Commission's Regulations or the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the "Act"), and close the file.

The problem is not what’s illegal but what’s legal.

It is fine to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars using Joint Fundraising Committees despite a $2,700 Individual Contribution limit of money going directly to Candidate Campaigns.

The Hillary Victory Fund (HVF), a Joint Fundraising Committee, held the described Fundraiser in San Francisco, California. HVF's participants included Hillary for America (HFA), Hillary Clinton's Principal Campaign Committee for the 2016 Presidential Election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and 32 State Democratic Party Committees. According to HVF's website, it distributes its contributions using the following formula:

1) The first $2,700/$55,000 of each donation from an individual is allocated to HFA
2) The next $33,400/$5,000 of each donation from an individual/PAC is allocated to the DNC
3) Additional amounts are divided equally among the participating Democratic State Party Committees, with a maximum contribution of $10,000/$5,000 per state Party.

The Complaint alleges that the fundraiser accepted $353,000 from individuals in excess
of the contribution limits at 11 C.F.R. § 110.3(a) because the State Party participants were
affiliated and subject to a single $10,000 contribution limit.

Respondents maintain that the participating State Party Committees are not affiliated and do not share a single $10,000 contribution limit.

The FEC determined that no provision of the Commission's regulations affiliates State Party Committees from different States. Thus, the Complainant's allegations are not supported by the applicable Law. The FEC found no reason to believe that the Respondents violated the Act
or Commission regulations. The vote was 6-0 to reject the complaint.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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