FEC Will Soon Decide Whether the Socialist Workers Party May Continue to be Exempt from Campaign ReportingFebruary 16th, 2013
On February 14, the Federal Election Commission held a public discussion on whether to extend the campaign finance reporting exemption for the Socialist Workers Party. Apparently the Commission has not come to a conclusion. Here is a link to two proposed determinations, prepared by staff for the Commissioners.
Draft “A” is 21 pages and grants the exemption. Draft “B” is 23 pages and denies the exemption. Much of the material in each draft is the same, but Draft “A” finds harassment experienced by the party to be serious enough to justify an extension, while Draft “B” discusses the same harassment but downplays it. Draft “B”, on page 21, says the party should be required to disclose its contributors because possibly some insincere individuals will contribute massively to the party to “take votes away” from certain major candidates. This is a foolish fear, because if there were such insincere individuals, they would not contribute directly to the SWP; they would instead make independent expenditures, much as some Democrats made independent expenditures to help gain votes for the Montana Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate last year. Of course, independent expenditures have nothing to do with the kind of campaign reports that the SWP would be making if the party didn’t have an exemption. Thanks to Thomas Jones for the link.