Federal Election Commission (FEC)

News & Analysis as of

Recent Settlements Signal Increased Political Law Enforcement by Government Officials

The U.S. government reached settlements with two federal lobbyist registrants recently in what appears to signal increased enforcement of political activity laws. On August 28, 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the...more

DOJ’s first prosecution for campaign finance coordination — a sign of things to come?

With the 2016 presidential campaign in full swing, pundits, reformers and the media are once again shining a light on the role of independent-expenditure-only committees, aka “super PACs,” in the American political process....more

Explaining Jon Stewart’s Monologue on Campaign Finance

After more than 16 years at the helm of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart hosted his final episode last night. The hour-long show devoted most of its running time to Stewart saying farewell to the correspondents and staffers who...more

Federal PAC Reports Due July 31, 2015

All Federal PACs are required to submit a campaign finance report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on or before Friday, July 31, 2015. Unless the PAC has elected a monthly filing schedule, the semi-annual report must...more

Federal Campaign Finance PAC Reports – Due July 31, 2015

All Federal Political Action Committees (PACs) are required to submit a campaign finance report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on or before Friday, July 31, 2015. Unless the PAC has elected a monthly filing...more

"DC Circuit Unanimously Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban"

On July 7, 2015, the federal circuit court for the District of Columbia sitting en banc issued a unanimous opinion upholding the federal contractor contribution ban against a constitutional challenge in the long-running case...more

What is a Super PAC?

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire has reported that in the first half of 2015, presidential Super PACs have raised a total of $211,457,755. This money is in addition to money raised directly by presidential candidate...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds 44-Year-Old Ban: The answer is still “no” for individual federal contractors wishing to contribute to federal...

On July 7, 2015, in Wagner v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the ban on individual federal contractor contributions to federal candidates and political...more

U.S. Court Upholds Federal Contractor Campaign Finance Ban

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a constitutional challenge to the ban on U.S. government contractors making political contributions to candidates for federal office and federal political party...more

Circuit Court Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban

Earlier this week, a unanimous 11-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the long-standing ban on federal political contributions by federal government contractors. The Circuit...more

DC Circuit Upholds Federal Contractor Pay-to-Play Ban

Today, the DC Circuit issued its decision in Wagner v. FEC and upheld the 75 year-old pay-to-play prohibition applicable to federal contractors. The Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits federal contractors from making...more

"Department of Justice Secures Sentence in First Super PAC Coordination Case"

The Department of Justice recently concluded its first criminal prosecution of coordination between an independent-expenditure-only committee (super PAC) and a campaign committee. On June 12, 2015, the U.S. District Court for...more

Foreign National Political Contribution Laws Can Cause Confusion, Pain for Unwary

A business executive writes a small check to a neighbor who is running for a seat on the local school board. It sounds harmless, but the executive isn’t a U.S. citizen and by writing that check, she has broken federal...more

Reed Smith's Government Contracts Weekly Rundown - April 2015

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week....more

Weekly Update Newsletter - April 2015

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS - GSA and HHS Issue a Notice Regarding Conducting a National Dialogue To Reduce Reporting Compliance Costs for Federal Contractors and Grantees - The General Services Administration (GSA)...more

More Cases Alleging Illegal Coordination Efforts Could be on the Horizon

In light of the first federal “coordination” case guilty plea, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has announced its intent to aggressively pursue convictions for coordination violations. This apparently new focus comes as the...more

FEC Contribution Limits for 2015-2016

Last week, the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) released increased contribution limits for individuals for the 2015-2016 federal election cycle. Certain federal contribution limits are indexed for inflation and are...more

Looking Back at Five Years of Citizens United

This month marked the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court handing down its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. More than perhaps most other recent Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United has remained in the public...more

Campaign Contribution Limits Raised Again

In every odd-numbered year the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is required to adjust certain contribution limits, expenditure limits, and the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold by indexing them to inflation. ...more

Individual Contribution Limits Increased for 2015 -2016 Election Cycle

On February 3rd, the Federal Election Commission increased the amounts that individuals and certain PACs can contribute in the 2015-16 election cycle. The most significant change is that individuals may now give $2700 per...more

FEC Increases Contribution Limits for 2015-2016 Election Cycle

Today, the Federal Election Commission announced that pursuant to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), as amended, it was adjusting contribution and expenditure thresholds and the lobbyist bundling threshold for federal...more

National Party Committees to Benefit from New and Vastly Increased Contribution Limits

In signing the omnibus appropriations bill into law on December 16, 2014, the President created new vehicles for making increased contributions to national political party committees. The Federal Election Commission, which is...more

New Limits Expand Funding Pool For National Party Committees

Recently passed spending legislation dramatically increased the amount that individual donors may give to the National Party Committee accounts used to fund party conventions, construction and legal challenges. Specifically,...more

A Question of Ethics: The Year in Government Ethics

As long as there are governments, there will be government corruption. The temptations to abuse power are never going away, and neither is human frailty, which means government ethics will remain an important issue for, well,...more

"State Parties File Legal Challenge Against SEC Rule 206(4)-5"

On August 7, 2014, the New York and Tennessee state Republican parties brought suit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), challenging Rule 206(4)-5 (the rule). Specifically, the complaint seeks an...more

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