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H.R. 425 (114th): Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 21, 2015.


Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act

Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to treat as a campaign contribution any payment made by any person (other than a candidate, an authorized committee of a candidate, or a political committee of a political party) for a coordinated expenditure which is not otherwise treated as a contribution.

(In effect, replaces and eliminates a prohibition against contributions by minors which the U.S. Supreme Court in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission ruled an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.)

Sets forth rules governing payments for coordinated expenditures, including special rule for payments by coordinated spenders for covered communications.

Defines "covered communication" as a public communication which: (1) expressly advocates the election of the candidate or the defeat of an opponent of the candidate (or contains the functional equivalent of express advocacy); (2) promotes or supports the candidate, or attacks or opposes an opponent of the candidate (regardless of whether the communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate or contains the functional equivalent of express advocacy); or (3) refers to the candidate or an opponent of the candidate in other ways, but only if the communication is disseminated during the applicable election period.

Prescribes penalties for knowing and willfull violation of this Act by a contribution which consists of a payment for a coordinated expenditure.

Prohibits candidates or individuals holding federal office, their agents, and certain related entities from soliciting, receiving, directing, or transferring funds to or on behalf of any political committee which accepts donations or contributions that do not comply with FECA limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements, or to or on behalf of any 527 organization which accepts such donations or contributions (other than a committee of a state or local political party or a candidate for election for state or local office).

(A 527 organization, tax-exempt in certain circumstances under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, is created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office.)