Hillary Clinton's campaign intends to coordinate directly with a newly formed super PAC able to receive unlimited donations, according to a Washington Post report.
The Democratic presidential candidate's campaign will work in conjunction with Correct the Record, an independent rapid-response team, previously a part of super PAC American Bridge, which conducts opposition research on Republican presidential candidates and possible GOP presidential candidates. The New York Times first reported Tuesday that Correct the Record would split from its parent organization to support the Clinton campaign.
Though Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules prohibit direct coordination between super PACs and declared candidates, Correct the Record believes it will be able to coordinate with Clinton without violating campaign finance regulations.
The FEC restricts paid internet political advertisements, making them subject to campaign spending limits and disclosure requirements. However, a 2006 FEC rule exempts "public communications" -- like unpaid posts on websites or blogs -- from such regulations. The rules were initially implemented as a safeguard against regulating the free speech of bloggers and other internet communications.
"The FEC rules specifically permit some activity - in particular, activity on an organization's website, in email, and on social media - to be legally coordinated with candidates and political parties," Correct the Record spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. "This exception has been relied upon countless times by organizations raising non-federal money. The only thing unique about Correct the Record is that it is making its contributors and expenditures public."
In the regulatory language, the FEC also refers to it as "uncompensated internet activity by individual" - that is, the Correct the Record individuals coordinating with the campaign would not be paid for the posts made on Clinton's behalf.
The group compares its other actions to nonprofits like the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club, which are able to coordinate with candidates and also disseminate information through their websites, reports Bloomberg Politics.
Clinton has been inching closer to supportive super PACs. Last week, on a three-day trip to California, the former secretary of state met with Priorities USA donors, an organization that assisted with President Obama's reelection efforts in 2012 and which has recently shifted to a pro-Clinton agenda. FEC rules allow presidential candidates to appear and speak at donor events, though they are not allowed to ask donors directly for amounts exceeding $5,000.
The Democratic presidential candidate has previously promised to rein in outside spending on campaigns as part of her national platform.
"We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment," Clinton said at a roundtable in Iowa, a day after officially launching her campaign.
But her campaign's communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, has noted that Clinton will not "unilaterally disarm."
"So as long as the rules are what the rules are, she is going to work hard to raise as much money as she needs to wage an effective campaign," Palmieri said.
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