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Complaint Filed With FEC Regarding Excessive Contributions

Two reform organizations today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission regarding possible excessive contributions by individuals during the 2012 elections.

The Campaign Legal Center and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed their complaint asking the FEC to investigate the allegations made in a Huffington Post article. The article highlighted 32 donors who appeared to the Huffington Post to have gone over the biennial contribution limit of $46,200 to all federal candidates in 2011-2012. View press release.

It is interesting to note that the two groups filing the complaint did not add their own analysis or double-check of the Huffington Post findings. There are many reasons to be cautious in these cases of individual contributions and limits. For a start, many people can’t define “biennial.” As the FEC investigates they may find problems of contributions not being properly identified by the donor, the receiving committee, the vendor/individual handling data entry, the report transmission to the FEC, the data handling by the FEC, and even misunderstandings of the law by donor, the recipient, and the news media.

The FEC will probably narrow down the list of 32 donors and the amounts involved and then be left with deciding the intent of the donors and whether action is necessary. With the partisan FEC commissioners often stalemating on votes, don’t hold your breath for a speedy resolution.

Meanwhile,The Hill reports that the Republican National Committee, in a brief filed yesterday, is urging the Supreme Court to strike down the limits on what an individual can contribute overall in an election cycle. View article.

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