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BCRA-Related Advisory Opinions
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BCRA-Related Advisory Opinions Issued:
In reverse order, with most recent AOs issued listed first.
Advisory Opinion 2006-29, regarding the potential appearance by a Representative in an infomercial for a convention and visitors bureau (Issued November 2, 2006, to Congresswoman Mary Bono).
Advisory Opinion 2006-24 [PDF], regarding the establishment and administration of a recount fund by state party or campaign committees, and the role that may be played by the national party committees (Issued October 5, 2006, to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee).
Advisory Opinion 2006-25 [PDF], concerning the application of the Millionaire's Amendment to a Senate election in which both general election candidates have no viable primary opponents (Issued September 5, 2006, to Jon Kyl for US Senate).
Advisory Opinion 2006-21 [PDF], concerning the application of the Millionaire's Amendment to a Senate election in which both general election candidates have no viable primary opponents (Issued August 30, 2006, to Cantwell 2006).
Advisory Opinion 2006-10 [PDF], concerning whether public service announcements aired by a satellite service and feature Members of Congress would constitute in-kind contributions (Issued June 30, 2006, to EchoStar Satellite LLC).
Advisory Opinion 2006-19 [PDF], concerning whether a local party committee's communications in connection with a special municipal election constitute "federal election activity" under 11 CFR 300.33 (Issued June 5, 2006, to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee).
Advisory Opinion 2006-6 [PDF], concerning the application of the Millionaires' Amendment in the situation where candidates affected by it are simultaneously participating in both a special election and a regular primary election (Issued March 10, 2006, to Francine Busby for Congress).
Advisory Opinion 2006-4 [PDF], concerning whether a principal campaign committee may make a donation to a state ballot initiative committee wihtout violating 2 U.S.C. 441i(e)(1) or other provisions of the Act (Issued March 31, 2006, to Tancredo for Congress Committee, Inc.)
Advisory Opinion 2005-19 [PDF], concerning whether a talk radio host, whose program is corporate-owned, may discuss elections and candidates. (Issued December 9, 2005, to Emil Franzi).
Advisory Opinion 2005-18 [PDF], concerning the application of the law and BCRA to a Spanish-language radio program to be hosted by a Congressman that will discuss issues and be aired during his primary campaign. (Issued November 18, 2005, to U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes).
Advisory Opinion 2005-12, [PDF] concerning whether a federal officeholder may raise and spend funds outside the Act's prohibitions and limitations for his exploratory committee for a Mayoral race. (Issued September 22, 2005, to U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah).
Advisory Opinion 2005-11, [PDF] concerning the use of campaign funds to pay legal fees and expenses associated with a grand jury investigation into a U.S. Representative's campaign activities and official conduct. (Issued September 26, 2005, to Friends of Duke Cunningham).
Advisory Opinion 2005-10, [PDF] concerning whether two U.S. Representatives may raise funds to support or oppose statewide initiatives on a special election ballot and whether the vote on those initiatives constitutes "an election other than a federal election for purposes of " section 441i of the Act (Issued August 22, 2005, to U.S. Representatives Howard Berman and John Doolittle).
Advisory Opinion 2005-9 [PDF], concerning the use of campaign funds to pay travel expenses for a U.S. Senator's young children where the travel is to officially-connected events (Issued August 19, 2005, to Friends of Chris Dodd, 2004).
Advisory Opinion 2005-6 [PDF], concerning the use of funds in a former Congressman's campaign committee to make a donation to a newly-formed nonprofit corporation that bears the Congressman's last name (Issued June 23, 2005, to Friends of McInnis Canyons NCA).
Advisory Opinion 2005-5, [PDF] concerning the use of funds in a gubernatorial exploratory committee should the Congressman who formed the committee decide not to run for Governor (Issued June 4, 2005, to Congressman Ray LaHood).
Advisory Opinion 2005-2, [PDF] concerning the fundraising activities that may be conducted by a Senator in conjunction with his campaign for a nonfederal office. (Issued April 22, 2005, to Senator Jon Corzine and Corzine for Governor, Inc.)
Advisory Opinion 2004-45 [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA's Millionaire Amendment provisions to money spent by a Senator-elect's campaign (Issued January 27, 2005, to Senator Ken Salazar and Salazar for Senate).
Advisory Opinion 2004-43 (including all concurring and dissenting opinions) [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA to billing a federal candidate for air time when that candidate has lost entitlement to receive the lowest unit charge (Issued February 14, 2005, to the Missouri Broadcasters Association).
Advisory Opinion 2004-37 [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA to a sample ballot, including other federal and nonfederal candidates, to be paid for and distributed by either a Congresswoman's principal campaign committee or her leadership PAC (Issued October 21, 2004, to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Citizens for Waters and People Helping People).
Advisory Opinion 2004-35 [PDF], concerning how a Presidential campaign may pay for recount expenses in light of the BCRA's restrictions on soft money (Issued September 30, 2004, to the Kerry-Edwards Campaign).
Advisory Opinion 2004-33 [PDF], concerning nonprofit corporation's ads featuring a federal candidate (Issued September 10, 2004, to the Ripon Society and U.S. Representative Sue Kelly).
Advisory Opinion 2004-31 [PDF], concerning the application of BCRA's electioneering communications provisions to business advertising by a corporation that has the same name as a candidate (Issued September 10, 2004, to the Russ Darrow Group, Inc.).
Advisory Opinion 2004-30 [PDF], concerning the application of BCRA's electioneering communications provisions to a film about a Presidential candidate, as well as the BCRA's application to advertising for the film and a book about a Presidential candidate (Issued September 10, 2004, to Citizens United).
Advisory Opinion 2004-29 [PDF], concerning fundraising and advertising paid for by a House campaign for a state ballot issue (Issued September 30, 2004, to U.S. Representative Todd Akin and Todd Akin for Congress).
Advisory Opinion 2004-28 [PDF], concerning the ability of a State to require disclosure of donors to a state or local party's building fund (Issued September 9, 2004, to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board).
Advisory Opinion 2004-27 [PDF], concerning the ability of a Presidential campaign committee to use campaign funds to pay back pay to two committee staffers for time they volunteered to the committee (Issued September 9, 2004, to Quayle 2000, Inc.)
Advisory Opinion 2004-26, concerning the ability of a Congressman's fiancee, who is a foreign national, to participate in activities for his campaign and leadership PAC (Issued August 20, 2004, to Congressman Jerry Weller and Zury Rios Sosa).
Advisory Opinion 2004-25, concerning donations by a Senator to organizations that engage in voter registration activity (Issued August 20, 2004, to Senator Jon Corzine).
Advisory Opinion 2004-22 [PDF], concerning the use of a Congressman's campaign funds to pay for remodeling a state party's headquarters (Issued July 23, 2004, to Congressman Doug Bereuter).
Advisory Opinion 2004-15 [PDF], concerning the application of BCRA's electioneering communications provisions to advertising a documentary that features federal officeholders (Issued June 25, 2004, to David Hardy).
Advisory Opinion 2004-14 [PDF], concerning the ability of a federal officeholder to appear in a public service announcement promoting a charity golf tournament (Issued June 10, 2004, to Congressman Tom Davis).
Advisory Opinion 2004-12 [PDF], concerning the establishment and financing of a regional party organization (Issued June 14, 2004, to Democratic State party committees of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Alaska).
Advisory Opinion 2004-10 [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA's "stand by your ad" provisions to "ten second live sponsorship messages" read during radio traffic reports (Issued April 29, 2004, to Metro Networks Communications, Inc.).
Advisory Opinion 2004-7, concerning the application of the FECA and BCRA to a mock Presidential election to be conducted by a cable network (Issued April 1, 2004, to MTV Networks).
Advisory Opinion 2004-3, concerning the application of the BCRA to the conversion of a retiring Member of Congress's campaign committee into a federal political action committee (Issued March 11, 2004, to Dooley for the Valley).
Advisory Opinion 2004-1, concerning the application of the BCRA to a Presidential candidate's appearance in a television ad for a House candidate in a special election (Issued January 29, 2004, to Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. and Alice Forgy Kerr for Congress).
Advisory Opinion 2003-40, concerning 48-hour reporting of independent expenditures aggregating $10,000 or more (Issued February 6, 2004, to U.S. Navy Veterans' Good Government Fund).
Advisory Opinion 2003-37, concerning the funding and staffing of various GOTV activities planned by an unincorporated section 527 organization with both federal and nonfederal accounts (Issued February 19, 2004, to Americans for a Better Country).
Advisory Opinion 2003-36, concerning the rules under which federal officeholders, candidates and their agents can participate in fundraising activities for a section 527 organization that is not a federal political committee (Issued January 12, 2004, to the Republican Governors Association).
Advisory Opinion 2003-34, concerning the application of the FECA and BCRA to a proposal for a reality television series that will simulate a federal political campaign (Issued December 19, 2003, to Viacom Inc. and Showtime Networks Inc.).
Advisory Opinion 2003-32, concerning the application of BCRA's soft money provisions to disbursements made by a federal candidate's nonfederal campaign committee (Issued December 19, 2003, to South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum).
Advisory Opinion 2003-31, concerning the application of the millionaire's amendment to staff advances made by a Senate candidate (Issued December 19, 2003, to Senator Mark Dayton).
Advisory Opinion 2003-30, concerning the permissible uses of funds contributed to a Senator's 2004 campaign when that Senator has decided to not seek re-election (Issued December 19, 2003, to Fitzgerald for Senate, Inc. and Senator Peter Fitzgerald).
Advisory Opinion 2003-26, concerning whether the funds of a federal campaign may be used to refund improper contributions received by the now-defunct state campaign of the same candidate (Issued November 7, 2003, to Voinovich for Senate).
Advisory Opinion 2003-25, concerning whether a nonfederal campaign may pay for television ads on its behalf that feature an endorsement of the nonfederal candidate by a federal candidate (Issued October 17, 2003, to Jonathan Weinzaphel and the Weinzaphel for Mayor Committee).
Advisory Opinion 2003-20, concerning whether a Congressman may establish a scholarship fund through a 501(c)(3) organization (Issued August 29, 2003, to Representative Silvestre Reyes and the Hispanic College Fund).
Advisory Opinion 2003-19, concerning whether a national congressional campaign committee may accept proceeds from the sale of office equipment and furniture (Issued August 25, 2003, to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee).
Advisory Opinion 2003-17, concerning whether campaign funds may be used to pay legal fees resulting from a criminal case against a candidate (Issued July 25, 2003, to James W. Treffinger).
Advisory Opinion 2003-16, concerning the permissibility, in light of BCRA, of an affinity credit card program to be offered to national party committees (Issued August 14, 2003, to Providian National Bank).
Advisory Opinion 2003-15, concerning the establishment by a Congresswoman of a legal expense fund to defray expenses related to a legal challenge to her election (Issued August 14, 2003, to Representative Denise Majette and the Committee to Re-elect Congresswoman Denise Majette).
Advisory Opinion 2003-12, concerning various activities planned by a Congressman and a ballot initiative organization (Issued July 29, 2003, to Representative Jeff Flake and the Stop Taxpayer Money for Politicians Committee)
Advisory Opinion 2003-11, concerning a state party's allocation of expenses for fringe benefits provided to employees (Issued August 7, 2003, to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee).
Advisory Opinion 2003-10, concerning whether a local county official may raise nonfederal funds for the state party if he also participates in fundraising for his father's Senate campaign. (Issued June 16, 2003, to the Nevada State Democratic Party and Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid).
Advisory Opinion 2003-7, concerning disposition of tax refund by state organization administered by federal officeholder (Issued May 16, 2003, to the Virginia Highlands Advancement Fund).
Advisory Opinion 2003-5, concerning participation of federal candidates in a trade association's voter mobilization program, including fundraising for that program (Issued July 15, 2003, to the National Association of Home Builders).
Advisory Opinion 2003-3, concerning federal candidate's participation in nonfederal campaigns, including attending fundraisers for and soliciting funds on behalf of state and local candidates (Issued April 29, 2003, to State Senator Bill Boling, State Delegate Bill Janis, Chesterfield County School Board Member Beth Davis and U.S. Representative Eric Cantor).
Advisory Opinion 2002-14, concerning application of the BCRA to a national party committee's lease of mailing list and sale of advertising space and trademark license (Issued January 31, 2003, to the Libertarian National Committee, Inc.).
- Summary from the FEC Record, March 2003, page 5 [PDF]
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Go to the FEC's Advisory Opinion Search Page
Pending BCRA-Related Advisory Opinion Requests (AORs):
Advisory Opinion Request 2006-38, concerning whether the nonfederal campaign committee of a Senator-elect may disburse federally permissible funds for state and local candidates and elections, even though some of the funds in the account to be used are not federally permissible (Senator-Elect Bob Casey, Jr. and the Casey State Committee).
Advisory Opinion Request 2006-35, concerning whether an authorized committee may use campaign funds to pay legal fees and expenses, as well as related press expenses, incurred by a retiring Congressman in connection with inquiries by the Department of Justice and the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Kolbe for Congress).
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Withdrawn or Concluded BCRA Advisory Opinion Requests
AOR 2006-31, regarding the application of the lowest unit rate provisions of the Communications Act, as amended by the BCRA, and the Commission's rules on corporate discounts for advertising, as well as the disclaimer provisions in the Communications Act and the FECA (Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee)
- Request [PDF; 63 pages]
- Comment from the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21
- Comment from Santorum 2006
- AOR 2006-27, regarding the application of the law to a web site that distributes video advertisements and fees paid to view them, and wishes to do so for the national party committees (Prime Choice Entertainment)
- AOR 2004-44 [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA's Millionaire Amendment provisions to money spent by a Senator-elect's campaign (Ken Salazar and Salazar for Senate).
- Request withdrawn
- Summary [PDF], from the January 2005 Record, page 8
- AOR 2004-39 [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA to a fund to be established by a state party to pay for recount expenses in connection with federal elections (Washington State Republican Party).
- AOR 2004-38 [PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA to raising and spending of funds to be used to pay for recount expenses (George Nethercutt and Nethercutt for Senate).
[PDF], concerning the application of BCRA's millionaire's amendment to the transfer of funds between the primary and general election campaigns of a candidate. (Allyson Schwarz for Congress).
[PDF], concerning fee-based appearances by a candidate to discuss his self-published book. (Paul Streitz).
[PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA to a voter mobilization plan to be conducted by a nonconnected committee with both federal and nonfederal accounts (America Coming Together).
[PDF], concerning the application of the BCRA to a candidate's participation in fundraising for reapportionment-related activities (Engel for Congress).
[PDF], concerning whether a candidate's payment of interest on past campaign loans constitutes an expenditure from personal funds for purposes of the "Millionaires' Amendment" (Fitzgerald for Senate, Inc.).
- AOR 2003-8 [PDF], concerning the involvement of a Congressman in raising money for a state party (Representative Ron Lewis).
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