Nation: FEC Meets Thursday on Redistricting Money

Posted April 27, 2010 at 6:56pm

The Federal Election Commission is keeping its options open going into a Thursday meeting to consider whether Members can raise soft money for a partisan redistricting committee.

The FEC has circulated two opposing draft advisory opinions.

One legal analysis states that federal candidates and lawmakers could help raise soft money for an entity not considered to exist “for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office.”

The alternate version lays out a case for telling Members they cannot raise soft money for redistricting organizations because changing the boundaries of a district “can mean the difference between reelection and defeat.”

An opinion needs four votes from the six-person commission for approval.

The National Democratic Redistricting Trust had asked the FEC whether it can use Members to help raise soft money without running afoul of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.

Traditionally, the Republican National Committee has coordinated the GOP’s redistricting effort, relying heavily on soft money. Democrats have relied on outside groups, such as labor unions, for fundraising and coordination, making it easier for them to adapt to the new rules.