FEC commissioners are feuding over when a nonprofit group spending to influence elections can be regulated as a political action committee.
Democratic Federal Election Commission member Ellen Weintraub said in a statement
that a recent court decision mandates that a nonprofit can become a PAC if it spends heavily on campaigns in a particular year.
But Republican members Caroline Hunter and Lee Goodman said in a separate statement
that a group shouldn’t be considered a PAC unless its “major purpose” is to influence elections. The entire history of the group’s spending—not a single year—must be assessed to determine its purpose, they said….
The FEC announced Dec. 22 that it had dismissed the New Models case following a 3-2 party-line vote of the commissioners.
Steven Walther, who holds a Democratic seat on the FEC, joined Weintraub in voting to follow a staff recommendation to investigate New Models. Walther, however, didn’t sign on to Weintraub’s statement of reasons for her vote.
FEC Republican Matthew Petersen joined Hunter and Goodman in voting to dismiss the case, but Petersen didn’t sign their 32-page statement on the case.