Under new pay to play laws that go into effect today, the SEC will restrict investment advisers from directly or indirectly providing any advisory services to a state or local government entity for two years following a campaign contribution. The ban extends to “covered associates” who consist of any general partner, managing partner, or “executive officer,” or other individuals with a similar status or function; any employee who solicits government business or supervises someone who does; any PAC “controlled by” the investment adviser or one of its covered associates; all employees who solicit a government entity for the investment; and, in some cases, employees of a parent company, which could, in some cases, include employees of a parent company.
Posts Tagged ‘Bundling’
The changing environment of campaign finance regulations means lots of fun for lobbyists trying to do their job effectively. Actually, what it really means is a pain in the rear. Luckily, we here at LobbyBlog are combing through the laws on your behalf. If you are a lobbyist, you need to know the basic rules about bundling contributions.
Who is covered by the bundling rule?
A: Any lobbyist registered under the LDA and any PAC that is “established or controlled” by a lobbyist so registered is subject to the bundling restrictions.
What qualifies as “bundling”?
Contributions that are either “forwarded” — delivered or transmitted, either electronically or physically– or “received and credited” — received directly from a contributor, but credited to a specific lobbyist–are treated as “bundled.” It is worth noting that some campaigns now forbid lobbyists from “forwarding” any contributions because reporting these bundled funds has become too much of a hassle.
What is reportable?
Aggregate contributions of $16,000 or more during a single reporting period meet the trigger for report. However, all reporting committees must file semi-annually as well as quarterly to ensure that any contributions of $16,000 in aggregate funds is disclosed to the FEC, even if the contributions are not made in the same quarter.
In the run-up to the mid-terms, government relations professionals might be engaged in a little campaign contribution bundling. This is a perfectly acceptable form of political fundraising, in which one lobbyist gathers campaign contributions from a group of colleagues and presenting the resulting “bundle” to lawmakers.
Regulations and disclosure:
Under HLOGA, candidate committees, leadership PACs and federal party committees are required to disclose to the Federal Election Commission the names of individual lobbyists, registered lobbying entities, or PACs maintained by lobbyists or lobbying entities that donate bundled contributions of $15,000 or more.
The “bundle” can be a physical pile of checks, or a method of assigning credit for certain amounts of money raised.
Registrant PACs and Leadership PACs were required to identify themselves as such on FEC Form 1 no later than March 29, 2009.
As always, members of Congress are prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions in regard to any kind of official action.
Links to information regarding the new rules, related forms and committee filings are here, at the FEC’s site.
This week, our campaign finance update is a refresher on Lobbyist Bundling rules.
The disclosure of bundled contributions to federal candidates, leadership PACs and party committees was a provision in HLOGA, but it is a reporting requirement imposed on the recipient committees, not the lobbyists or lobbyists PACs that engage in fundraising and bundling of contributions.
The FEC finalized the bundling regulations in 2009, which include certain requirements for reporting bundled contributions.
- Any PAC controlled by an individual lobbyist or an association registered to lobby should have amended its PAC statement of organization by March 29, 2009 disclosing that the PAC is a “Lobbyist/Registrant PAC”. All new PACs established or controlled by a registered lobbyist or organization must now indicate the lobbying relationship when filing the initial statement of organization.
- Candidate committees, leadership PACs and national party committees are now required to disclose the names of lobbyists who bundle two or more contributions totaling more than $16,0005 during a reporting period.
The regulations define two categories for “bundled” contributions:
- Contributions forwarded by a lobbyist or a PAC controlled by a lobbyist or registrant
- Contributions credited to a lobbyist or a PAC controlled by a lobbyist or registrant
Next week, we’ll look at the definitions of “forwarded” and “credited,” as detailed by the FEC’s final regulations published in February 2009.
This post is condensed from the Lobbying Compliance Handbook.