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Eliminate certain superfluous information currently
Reduce the burden on State filing offices by
shortening the length of time reports must be
preserved, and only requiring multicandidate
acted on one of the FEC's recommendations to assist
State officers by passing s. 994 authorizing $250,000
ENCOURAGING PARTY AND GRASS ROOTS ACTIVITY
Unfortunately, the FECA has had, or is perceived to have had, some unforeseen effects on party and grass roots political activity. In particular, such activity as spontaneous local volunteer efforts, should be encouraged since it is the essence of healthy election campaigning. Changes in the statute are vitally needed to permit
State and local party committees adequate flexibility for vigorous campaign activity.
(bumper stickers, handbills, pamphlets, etc.), without
having such expenses count towards the expenditure
limitations of a Presidential nominee.
The current $500 exemption for vendors, and volunteer
The contribution limitations should be clarified by placing them on an election cycle basis, rather than a "per election" basis. ample, if such a clarification were adopted, an individual would be permitted to give up to $2,000 to a candidate at any time during an election cycle. (An election cycle would be 2 years for House candidates, 4 years for Presidential candidates and 6 years for Senate
The contribution limitations also contain a number of anomalies
which should be corrected.
Chief among these are:
If a national committee of a political party serves as
its Presidential nominee's principal campaign committee,
principal campaign committees. In effect, the national
Although an individual may give up to $20,000 per year
only give $15,000.
This discrepancy should be addressed.
In addition to the above, the FEC recommends a minimum
contribution amount be established for multicandidate committees
the Commission for six months; 2) receive contributions from at least 50 individuals; and 3) make contributions to at least five Federal candidates. The five contributions to Federal candidates
required to satisfy the third condition could be as little as $1
The FEC recommends that a figure of at least $100 be established
in order for such contributions to satisfy the third condition and
qualify for the higher contribution limit.
The FEC believes that the 1976 Presidential public financing
program worked very well, considering that it was the first time
that such a comprehensive scheme of national election campaign financing had been attempted. During the 1976 Presidential election,
certain difficulties did, of course, arise. Some of these difficulties
were discussed at hearings held by the FEC in June 1978 on proposed
changes to our regulations on public financing.
The FEC is attempting to alleviate the problems noted at the
1978 hearings through revisions to our regulations.
On May 7, 1979,
we promulgated new primary matching fund regulations.
On June 6,
1979, draft convention financing regulations were published for
comment, and we expect to have a final set of proposed convention
financing regulations before the Congress shortly.
There is of course a limit to what can be done through
regulations. Therefore, the FEC has suggested a number of changes
to the provisions of the FECA regarding Presidential elections and
The FECA should be amended to permit Congressional and State candidates to give occasional, isolated or incidental support to their
party's Presidential nominee without such expenses counting as an
expenditure on behalf of the Presidential candidate. The present
lack of clarity in the law on this point has had a chilling effect
on grass roots candidate activity in support of Presidential candi
dates receiving public financing. The law should be amended to accomm
date such endorsements since they are a traditional part of Presidential
and Congresssional candidates' campaigns.