Statement on General Majority PAC v. Aichele
Statement Regarding the Effect of the Permanent Injunction Order inGeneral Majority PAC v. Carol Aichele, et al., on Pennsylvania Law
On March 10, 2014, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered a permanent injunction order. The order allows a political committee that is properly registered with the Department of State (as required by the Pennsylvania Election Code) to accept contributions from corporations, unincorporated associations and/or labor unions, so long as that registered political committee does not make contributions to, or coordinate expenditures on behalf of, candidates or political committees controlled by political parties.
The only alteration to Pennsylvania law that the order makes is that a political committee that commits itself to limiting contributions and expenditures as outlined in the order would be allowed to accept contributions from corporations, unincorporated associations and/or labor unions notwithstanding the general prohibition under section 1633(a) of the Pennsylvania Election Code, 25 P.S. § 3253(a). Concomitantly, corporations, unincorporated associations and labor unions will be permitted to make contributions to any political committee that limits its activities as described in the order.
A political committee operating under the order still must comply with the Pennsylvania Election Code by registering with the Department of State as a political committee, and by filing reports with the Department of State as any political committee is required to do.
In addition, a political committee operating under the order cannot make contributions or expend its resources in a manner that would cause its resources (a) to be donated to a candidate’s political committee or a political party’s political committee; or (b) to be expended in a way that is coordinated with a candidate’s political committee or a political party committee.
Consistent with the order, the Department of State has established a procedure under which a political committee desiring to accept contributions from corporations, unincorporated associations and/or labor unions under the terms of the order must file a statement with the Department of State declaring its commitment not to make contributions to, or to coordinate expenditures on behalf of, any candidate’s political committee or political committee controlled by a political party. This type of political committee will be referred to as an Independent Expenditure Committee.
Questions may be directed to the Department of State’s Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, Division of Campaign Finance and Lobbying Disclosure by telephone at 717-787-5280 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org