FEC APPROVES TWO ADVISORY OPINIONS, HOLDS OVER THREE ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS
WASHINGTON –The Federal Election Commission today approved two advisory opinions and held over three advisory opinion requests.
Advisory Opinion 2011-25 (Atlas Air). The Commission concluded that certain management employees of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.’s (Atlas Worldwide) two subsidiaries, Atlas Air, Inc. and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc., are members of Atlas Worldwide’s restricted class because they are part of Atlas Air’s and Polar Air's “executive or administrative personnel.” Although the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, (the Act) prohibits direct corporate contributions in connection with federal election campaigns, it permits corporations, including incorporated membership organizations, to solicit voluntary contributions from their restricted class to a separate segregated fund that in turn may be used to make contributions. The Commission concluded, therefore, that Atlas Worldwide may solicit certain management employees of Atlas Air, Inc. and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. for voluntary contribution to its separate segregated fund.
Advisory Opinion 2011-26 (Martin H. Freeman). Martin H. Freeman proposed activities of raising and spending funds for the purposes of identifying citizens who do not possess photographic identification in states that require such identification in order to register to vote or to vote, and assisting them in obtaining such identification. The Commission concluded the proposed activities are not subject to the requirements or limitations of the Act and Commission regulations as long as no effort is made to determine party or candidate preferences of the individuals needing assistance.
Advisory Opinion Request 2011-24 (StandLouder.com). The Commission held over an advisory opinion request from Louder Solutions, LLC, a for-profit limited liability company that plans to establish a web application through the website StandLouder.com that will allow users to post and fund proposed advertisements. In its advisory opinion request, StandLouder.com indicates that it will receive a license from content creators to, among other services, facilitate funding, provide technical compliance, and determine the time and placement of the ads. StandLouder.com anticipates that the advertisements will relate to topics including political and social issues as well as candidates for federal office. The request posed questions regarding whether its proposed business model would trigger political committee status and StandLouder.com could identify itself in disclaimers and disclosure reports as the entity that paid for the advertisements.
Advisory Opinion Request 2011-27 (New Mexico Voices for Children). The Commission held over an advisory opinion request from New Mexico Voices for Children that seeks to determine whether or not a proposed severance payment to its former Executive Director, who currently is a candidate for federal office, will result in a prohibited corporate contribution to the candidate under the Act or Commission regulations.
Advisory Opinion Request 2011-28 (Western Representation PAC). The Commission discussed then held over an advisory opinion request from Western Representation PAC. During today’s discussion, the Commission heard from counsel to Western Representation PAC regarding Western Representation PAC’s plans to place ads on Facebook during the 2012 Republican presidential primary season that expressly advocate the election or defeat of clearly identified candidates. Western Representation PAC asks whether it (1) must include the costs of these ads on its 24- and 48-hour Independent Expenditure reports, and (2) must attribute these costs to individual state primary elections on its regular monthly reports.