Tag Archives: electioneering communications

Federal Court Decision Puts Brakes on Issue Ads

As the 2018 mid-term season approaches, viewers may be seeing fewer issue advertisements paid for by so-called “dark money” groups.  In a consequential decision, a federal court in Washington, D.C. concluded yesterday that all “electioneering communications” presumptively count as political spending for purposes of determining whether a group should register as a political action committee … Continue Reading

Federal Court in D.C. Rules Against FEC in Important Disclosure Case

In an important decision, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper today ordered the Federal Election Commission to reconsider its dismissal of a complaint filed by CREW against two tax-exempt advocacy organizations that have never registered with the FEC.  CREW alleged that the two groups, American Action Network and Americans for Job Security, had as their “major … Continue Reading

A Pyrrhic Victory? The Impact of Today’s District Court Decision on Electioneering Communications (Van Hollen v. FEC)

A U.S. District Court judge today vacated an FEC regulation that limited the degree to which corporations and labor unions must disclose their donors when they pay for an Electioneering Communication.  Van Hollen v. FEC  An Electioneering Communication is a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that features a federal candidate, airs within 30 days of … Continue Reading

The More Things Change: The FEC and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.

On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was unable to agree on whether Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. could sponsor a Separate Segregated Fund (a corporate “SSF” or “PAC” in common parlance) that solicited contributions from the employees of its dealers and service centers.  The request resulted in an unsurprising deadlock and a surprising discussion about … Continue Reading

OPEN Sesame or a Potemkin Village?

Twenty House Democrats yesterday introduced proposed legislation that, if enacted in its current form, would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to: Require corporations and labor unions which “submit[] regular, periodic reports” to their shareholders and members to include certain detailed information concerning their political spending.  That information must also be reported to the … Continue Reading

Electioneering Communications Start to Reemerge After D.C. Circuit’s Van Hollen Ruling

Electioneering communications, perhaps unsurprisingly, have reemerged on the airwaves following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s September 18th reversal of a district court decision in Van Hollen v. FEC that required entities paying for electioneering communications to disclose all of their donors. As we’ve previously noted, in the wake of the district … Continue Reading

Reversing Van Hollen, D.C. Circuit Removes Important Legal Barrier To Television and Radio Political Ads

After a hiatus, ads that refer to federal candidates but that stop short of calling for their election or defeat may soon be returning to the airwaves.  Only two business days after oral argument, a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel today unanimously reversed a lower court decision that required issue advocacy groups that paid for an … Continue Reading

“Electioneering Communications” Virtually Vanish in Wake of Van Hollen Decision

On March 30, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Van Hollen v. FEC striking down the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) regulation that limited disclosure of donors to those who gave specifically for the purpose of funding “electioneering communications.”  Electioneering communications are broadcast ads that reference a clearly identified federal … Continue Reading

The Return of Anonymous Attack Ads?

Could this week bring the brief return of anonymous attack ads?  The next few days will tell. Attack ads are frequently “electioneering communications,” television and radio ads that refer to a clearly identified candidate 30 days prior to a primary election or 60 days prior to the general election.  In the last election cycle, prior … Continue Reading

Ouch! Traps for the Unwary In FEC Electioneering Communications Reports

On July 13, the FEC announced a settlement with Americans for Common Sense Solutions.  The group agreed to pay a penalty of $9,000 for failing to report $121,000 in electioneering commutations attacking Reps. Capps (D – Calif.) and Cicilline (D-R.I.) within 60 days of the November 2010 general election. FEC MUR 6443. The group’s defense: … Continue Reading
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