Federal Election Commission Holds Public Hearing on Bundling

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

On September 17, 2008, the Federal Election Commission (“FEC” or Commission”) held a public hearing on its proposed bundling rules.” Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (“HLOGA”), the Commission was charged with promulgating rules that would require federal campaign committees and leadership PACs to disclose the names of federal lobbyists that bundle $15,000 or more of contributions for the committee in a covered period (e.g. semi-annually or quarterly) on their periodic reports.

While the FEC proposed a bundling rule on November 6, 2007 and accepted public comments on or before November 30, 2007, due to a lack of quorum, the FEC was not able to vote on a Final Rule earlier this year. Consequently, the FEC missed its statutory deadline to promulgate the bundling rule and have it go into effect for the 2008 election cycle. We expect the Commission to vote on a Final Rule this Fall and for it to go into effect in 2009. We do not believe that any Final Rule would be retroactive for the 2008 cycle.

The attached Client Advisory discusses the three main points of the hearing. While the hearing revealed little as to what the Final Rule will look like, it was clear that the FEC Chairman and Commissioners have concerns about the proper way to allocate and report credit for bundling contributions and who to cover within the Final Rule. To aid in further deliberation, the Commission held the record open for one week to allow for submission of additional comments on these three main issues, as well as guidance on what a new bundling form could look like.