FEC Advisory Opinion on Federal Officials and State Campaigns
The General Counsel of the FEC has circulated to the Commissioners a draft advisory opinion in answer to the request of several Virginia state and local officeholders and Congressman Eric Cantor. They asked how much involvement Cantor could have in state and local campaigns. Here are most of the questions and my very short summaries of the answers. My comments are in [brackets]. I recommend you read the whole opinion which is here.
1. May Cantor solicit donations for the state candidates? Yes, but the request must make clear that the source and amount must be consistent with BCRA. [This means, for instance, that Cantor cannot make a request to a corporation or union, each of which may make contributions under Virginia but not federal law.]
2. Will Cantor violated the BCRA if someone he solicits make a contribution illegal under federal law? No.
3. May Cantor appear at a fundraiser for the state candidates even if funds to be raised are illegal under federal law? Yes.
4. May Cantor appear at a fundraiser for the state candidates even if funds used to pay for the event are illegal under federal law? Yes.
5. May Cantor's name be used in publicity for a fundraising event for state candidates? Yes. [Some of this is also covered in answer 3.]
6. May Cantor ask others to raise money for state candidates? Yes, but these people may become his "agents" and therefore have to raise money from sources and in amounts that comply with BCRA. [This part of the opinion, if adopted by the Commission, may form the basis for the answer to the advisory opinion request by the Nevada Democrats and Rory Reid.]