Super Tuesday

As we are right in the middle of Super Tuesday, we thought it might be a good time to explain what it means. Super Tuesday is a designation used in a presidential primary season when the greatest number of states hold their primary elections. On this date, more convention delegates can be won than on any other single day on the primary calendar. The states holding presidential primaries are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia, with caucuses held in Alaska, American Samoa, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wyoming. With over 20% of the delegates at stake for each party, it is easy to see why Super Tuesday is important. The sheer number of states and the fact that they represent a broad cross-section of Americans, makes it a good representation of how the electorate feels about the candidates. Many of the states in this year’s Super Tuesday allot their delegates proportional to the vote; however in Texas, if one candidate within a party receives more than 50% of the vote, then it is winner-take-all! A couple of things to keep in mind: Primaries are elections that are held by the state in which registered voters select the candidate of their choice through secret ballot. A primary can be closed, meaning that the voter may only select a candidate from the party with which they are registered. It can also be an open primary, where the voters can select from the candidates of any party. A few states also have what are called “mixed” primaries, which is when unaffiliated voters may choose to vote in either primary or can switch their registration on the primary date. Caucuses are structured quite differently. These are meetings that are set up by state party committees to select a candidate. As such, the state party dictates the time and place for these events, and they usually last several hours. All caucuses start with an introduction or election of their delegates. Then party officials do some last-minute campaigning and/or give speeches. For Republicans, they then cast a secret ballot in the same way as a regular primary and are free to leave. Democrats, however, take an initial count of caucus attendees. They then vote publicly (by raising their hand or moving to a specific part of the room) for their candidate, and the votes are counted. Any candidate that has fewer than 15% of the total attendees gets removed from the ballot. These voters then need to select a different candidate – and all the other voters try to convince them to vote for their candidate. Once the voting is complete, the results are sent to the state party. The number...

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A Case for SSF Hybrid PACs

Stop This Insanity, Inc. Employee Leadership Fund, et al. v. FEC is a case that sought to allow an SSF to have a separate account that is used for independent expenditures in the same way that non-connected committees are now allowed.  While this does not seem like a hard choice for the court to decide, given the recent court decisions, the FEC argues that it would allow for the connected organization to pay the administrative expenses of the non-contribution account, thus making unlimited and undisclosed organization contributions.  Furthermore, if allowed, it would call into question the coordination of expenditures being made on a candidate’s behalf.  The District Court denied the plaintiff’s request and granted the Commissions request to dismiss the case.  Stop This Insanity filed an appeal in January...

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Supreme Court Overturns Individual Aggregate Limits

On April 2, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an appeal by Shaun McCutcheon of  a US District Court ruling that upheld the FEC aggregate limits.  This action overturned the ruling and eliminated the biennial aggregate limits on an individual donor’s contributions.  Previously, in addition to meeting the per candidate, per election limit of $2,600 (2013-2014), an individual was also required to meet a three-pronged biennial aggregate limit.  The two-year limit was $123,200 for the 2013-2014 cycle, with the direct candidate contribution portion capped at $48,600.  While this decision does not change the per candidate, per election limit of $2,600, the overall cap has been eliminated and individuals are able to give the $2,600 maximum contribution to as many federal candidates as they wish....

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Year End Tasks

Year End Tasks

Prior to the end of the year is a great time to review the operations of your PAC and start preparing for next year. Things to consider: Dedicate some time to review your written procedures to ensure that they accurately reflect how the PAC operates. Meet up with your HR and/or IT contact and check that you have an accurate record of your restricted class.  Also, see if there is a need to augment the information you are currently receiving for soliciting and analysis. File everything and prepare a set of files for the coming year.  Archive files older than three years.  If possible, make an electronic copy to your network. Audit your enrollment cards. Thank everyone on your internal team for their efforts during the year. Strategic Planning – you should have already started this process for 2014, but if not – get started!  Commit to and document your goals for the PAC, the solicitation strategy and communications, as well as PAC events and an ongoing communications plan.  Also consider the metrics you will use to assess your success and how often you plan to report on your progress.  With this framework in place, you can begin thinking about the details and be ahead of the...

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