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and quarterly reports in April, July, October and year-end. This reporting scheme would be keyed to the election cycle.
more than 48 hours before any election be reported within 48 hours should be eliminated.
If the principal campaign committee reporting recommendation suggested above is also adopted, the maximum number of reports would be reduced from 24 to nine for Congressional candidates.
In lieu thereof, the Act should require political committees to report within 48 hours any contribution of $1,000 or more made by that committee to a candidate in the 15 days preceding an election. Transferring this reporting duty to the donor committee would greatly expedite the disclosure of large contributions prior to the election.
Qualified Multicandidate Committees and National Party Committees Qualified multicandidate committees and national party committees should be required to file monthly in an election year and during nonelection years should have the choice of either filing monthly or filing in July and year-end (plus pre- and post-election reports if involved in special elections).
Other Filers Other nonparty committees, independent expenditure filers and State and local party committees should file July and year-end reports in a nonelection year and during an election year file quarterly, year-end plus 12-day pre- and 30-day post-general election reports.
Registration Statements (2 U.S.C. $433(b)) The law requires political committees to supply information on their Statements of Organization which is not integral to the central goals of the Act. The following provisions do not add sufficient information to the concept of disclosure to warrant retention and should be repeal. ed:
The requirement that "the area, scope or jurisdiction of the committee" be listed. The requirement that the Statement of Organization contain "a statement whether the committee is a continuing one.' The requirement that committees state "the disposition of residual funds which will be made in the event of dissolution," The provision requiring a "statement of the reports required to be filed by the committee with State or local officers, and, if so the names, addresses and positions of such persons."
Candidate Support Statements (2 U.S.C. $433(b)(91) The Act imposes a burdensome requirement on multicandidate committees to report on their registration statements the names and offices of all the candidates they support. Any change in this information must be reported by amendment within 10 days. Some multicandidate committees are required, under this provision, to file amendments almost every 10 days. On occasion, the volume of these reports is so great that public disclosure is impaired. Most importantly, the identical information is contained on the reports of receipts and expenditures of each multicandidate committee. This provision should be repealed.
Election Period Limitations (2 U.S.C. $441a(a)) The contribution limitations are structured on a "per-election" basis, thus necessitating dual bookkeeping or the adoption of some other method to distinguish between primary and general election contributions. The Act could be simplified by changing the contribution limitations from a "per-election" basis to an "annual" or "election cycle" basis. There is precedent in the current Act for such an approach in $441ath). If an annual limitation is chosen, contributions made to a candidate in a year other than the calendar year in which the election is held should be considered to be made
48-Hour Reports (2 U.S.C. $434(a)} The requirement that any contribution of $1,000 or more received after the 15th day but
mental costs now associated with the operation of three different offices. Finally, separate points of entry make it difficult for the Commission to track nonfilers and responses to compliance notices. Many responses and/or amendments may not be received by the Commission in a timely manner, even though they were sent by the candidate or committee. The delay in transmittal between two offices sometimes leads the Commission to believe that candidates and committees are not in compliance. A single point of entry would eliminate this confusion.
State Filing (2 U.S.C. $439) The Act presently requires all candidates and committees to file a copy of each statement filed with the Commission with the Secretary of State or other equivalent State officer. It also imposes certain responsibilities on the Secretaries of State or equivalent officers. The appropriate State officials should be required to keep reports for only three years for House, five years for President and seven years for Senate, instead of the present five and 10-year requirements. The Secretaries of State have expressed more opposition to the report preservation feature of their filing responsibilities than any other. To further reduce the burdens placed on State officials, multicandidate committee reports should be filed only with the Secretary of State or other appropriate State agency in the State in which the committee is headquartered. State officials also have requested that they be reimbursed by the Federal government for costs incurred in receiving, indexing and maintaining these reports.
Point of Entry 12 U.S.C. $438(d)) The Commission recommends that it be the sole point of entry for all disclosure documents filed by Federal candidates and committees support: ing those candidates. A single point of entry would eliminate confusion about where candidates and committees must file their reports, direct their correspondence and ask questions. At present, conflicts arise when more than one office sends out materials, makes requests for additional information and answers questions relating to the interpretation of the law. A single point of entry would also reduce the govern
Independent Contributions 12 U.S.C. $434(el) Persons who make independent contributions in excess of $100 are required to file reports with the Commission. An independent contribution is a contribution to a person (other than a candidate or political committee) who makes an independent expenditure.
The Commission recommends that independent contributors not be required to report to the Commission.
Instead, persons who file independent expenditure reports should be required to report the sources of any contributions in excess of $100 which is donated with a view toward bringing about an independent expenditure.
Disclaimer (2 U.S.C. $435(b)) The disclaimer required on all solicitations of contributions should be shortened to read: "A copy of our report is filed with and is available for purchase from the Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C." The present disclaimer is redundant and reduces the amount of space or broadcast time used for advertising.
definition of contribution and expenditure: (a) the payment by a delegate of all travel and subsistence costs incurred in attending caucuses or conventions; and (b) the payment of expenditures incurred by a State or local political party in sponsoring party meetings, caucuses and conventions for the purpose of selecting dele. gates. Another approach would be to distinguish "authorized" delegates (i.e., persons authorized by a Presidential candidate to raise or expend funds on his behalf) from "unauthorized" candidates. Only authorized delegates would be considered contributors to the Presidential candidate and expenditures by such delegates would be charged against the Presidential candidate's limitations.
Support of Presidential Nominees (2 U.S.C. $9003) Congress may wish to clarify to what extent a Congressional candidate may give occasional, isolated or incidental support to the Presidential nominee of his party without such support counting as a contribution in-kind. A publicly financed Presidential campaign is prohibited from receiving any private contributions in the general election. During the 1976 elections, it was unclear under what circumstances a Congressional candidate could mention and support his political party's Presidential nominee.
The brief mention or appearance of the Presidential nominee in newspaper ads or in tele vision or radio ads should not be considered a contribution so long as the purpose is to further the election of the congressional candidate and the appearance is at the initiative of the Congressional candidate.
Compliance Funds (2 U.S.C. $9004) The Federal Election Campaign Act Amend. ments of 1976 specifically exclude from the definition of "contribution" the payment of legal and accounting services by a regular employer to insure compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act and Chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26 of the Internal Revenue Code, The Commission's Regulations specifically permit a
Presidential campaign to set up a separate account containing private monies to be used for compliance purposes. A major party Presidential candidate receiving full public financing in the general election may not otherwise receive private contributions. In order to insure the integrity of the Presidential general election public financing provisions and to eliminate the need for any private contributions in the general election, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act should be amended to provide a block grant of a specified amount for legal and accounting services for each candidate and committee receiving public funds. Similar grants should be considered for candidates who receive matching funds in the primary election.
Repayments to the Fund (2 U.S.C. 89007) In its Regulations, the Commission has attempt. ed to give candidates and committees ample leeway to challenge Commission determinations with respect to the repayment of funds to the Federal Treasury and sufficient time to gather funds to make repayments. These Regulations have generally operated fairly and equitably. However, there have been a few instances where this time period has been used to accrue interest on the amounts which the Commission has determined must be repaid to the Treasury. In order to simplify the repayment procedure the Commission recommends that all surplus funds, regardless of amount, be repaid to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund at the end of a campaign. (Any such repayment require ment should, of course, exclude payments made for tax purposes.) The statute also should be amended to require that any and all interest earned on public monies from savings accounts, government bonds, and other sources be returned to the Fund or the general fund of the Treasury. This latter requirement would insure that Presidential committees do not gain private advantage from funds which the Commission has determined must be repaid to the Fund or the general fund of the Treasury. In addition, while repayments under the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act are made to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, repay. ments under the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act are made to the general fund of the Treasury. All repayments should be made to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.
Presidential Election Campaign Fund (2 U.S.C. 89006) Under the current provisions, the Secretary of the Treasury is required to place first priority on funds for convention financing; second priority on funds for general election financing; and third priority on the matching-payment fund. Since the primaries occur before the general election, the Secretary may not have a clear idea of the amount to reserve for the general election. The Secretary may determine that a substantial portion of the entire fund needs to be reserved for a number of possible qualified nominees in the general election, thus denying Presidential primary candidates their full entitlements. On the other hand, the Secretary may make a determination which would not reserve sufficient monies for the general election fund to pay new party candidates who quality in the general election. Since the amount in the fund is a fixed amount in that it is limited by the number of dollars received as a result of the tax checkoff provision, the Secretary may be faced with a situation where he must risk depleting the general election fund to assure full entitlement for Presidential primary candidates. Under some circumstances, the present system could be unworkable and should be modified either to guarantee
full entitlement to all qualified candidates or to eliminate all discretion by the
Vice Presidential Candidates (2 U.S.C. $441a) The Act does not provide a coherent statutory framework for the treatment of Vice Presidential candidates. For example, the campaign depository of the Vice Presidential candidate is considered to be the campaign depository of the Presidential candidate. Yet, the definitions of the "candidate" and "Federal office" differentiate the Presidential candidate from the
billboards, newspapers, mass mailings, radio, television and other similar general public political advertising). These activities would be exempt from the limitations when undertaken on behalf of the Presidential candidate; would be subject to the disclosure provisions; could mention as few or as many candidates as deemed desirable; and would be financed with funds that are not earmarked
for a particular candidate. 3. The $500 exemptions for real and personal
property, vendors and travel expenses which apply to candidates should be expanded to apply to political party committees (e.g., the use of real and personal property and the cost of invitations, food and beverages voluntarily provided by an individual to a political party committee should be exempted from the definition of contribution and expenditure
up to $500). 4. The statute should be amended to exempt
from the definitions of contribution and expenditure payments made by or on behalf of a candidate or received by a political party committee as a condition of ballot access when these costs or payments are subsequently paid to the State. Currently, candidates make payments to State political party committees to gain access to the ballot and to defray the cost of the elections and these payments count as contributions. If these payments re in excess of $5,000, the candidate must exceed the contribution limits to gain ballot access.
Party Activity (2 U.S.C. $441a(d)) Political parties have a central role to play in the political system. Campaign finance legislation must be carefully drafted to bolster the role of political parties in campaign financing, while preserving the integrity of the various contribution limits. One of the major failures of campaign financing legislation in the 1976 elections was the limited role which it delegated to State and local party committees. Accordingly, the Commission recommends that: 1. State committees of a political party should
be allowed to spend the greater of $20,000 or 2 cents times the Voting Age Population on behalf of the Presidential candidate of the national party. State committees should be allowed to delegate this spending right to
subordinate committees. 2. Local and subordinate committees of a State
committee should be allowed to distribute campaign materials and paraphernalia normally connected with volunteer activities (such as pins, bumper stickers, handbills, pamphlets, posters and yard signs, but not
If the above-mentioned recommendations are adopted, the political parties will be given a strengthened role in the political process and volunteer activities will be encouraged. If the proposed changes are incorporated in the Act, 26 U.S.C. $9012(f) should be repealed.
Expenditure Limitations (2 U.S.C. $441a(b)) The experience of the 1976 elections suggests that the Congress may wish to raise the Presidential spending limitations. The entitlement for Presidential candidates receiving full funding for the general election could be increased substan