Neil Reiff Discusses Restrictions on Party Committees at the FEC

Yesterday, Neil Reiff participated in an open forum hosted by the Federal Election Commission on political parties, with a special emphasis on state party committees. Reiff and state party leadership discussed the many burdens that federal law places on state party committees.

From Bloomberg BNA (behind paywall):

Some of the specific changes that party leaders are seeking were outlined by election law attorney Neil Reiff of the Washington law firm of Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock in a presentation to the FEC forum. Reiff, who represents Democratic Party committees, presented a series of recommendations that were adopted by the Association of State Democratic Chairs at a national meeting last November.

Key proposals include easing BCRA provisions and FEC rules that regulate state and local party funding of activities affecting federal elections. For example, party committees should have more leeway to sponsor activities using volunteers without running afoul of the FEC, the state party association said. It also recommended easing strict definitions of “federal election activity,” for which party committees must use federally regulated “hard money.”

The association said other requirements that hamstring state and local parties include: requirements to track how much time paid staff spend on federal campaigns; requirements for state party committees to file monthly reports with the FEC if they get involved in federal elections; and thresholds as low as $1,000 that trigger FEC reporting requirements for local parties promoting a federal candidate or engaging in activities that could affect federal elections.

After the hearing, the FEC released a statement, with Chairman Lee Goodman calling the meeting “extraordinarily helpful”.

The FEC’s statement can be found here.