For Immediate Release Contact: Bob Biersack
April 19, 2007 George Smaragdis
FEC Approves Advisory Opinion for Atlatl, Inc.,
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) met in open session today and approved an Advisory Opinion issued to Atlatl, Inc. on a 4 to 1 vote. The opinion concluded that Atlatl, Inc., a software development company in Durham, North Carolina, and its service Simply Easier Payments may offer its credit card processing services to political committees for online fundraising. Under the proposal approved by the Commission, when a contributor uses the service to make a contribution to a political committee, the full amount authorized by the contributor, including any processing fees, would count as a contribution to the campaign or committee.
The Commission noted in its discussion that it is open to innovative business models as they apply to political fundraising. The opinion provided today was guided by the fact that the contractual relationships described in the request are between political committees and vendors, rather than between contributors and vendors. The processing fees will be treated consistently with traditional solicitation costs born by political committees and any payment of these by others have been considered to be in-kind contributions.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky dissented and intends to issue a separate opinion explaining his views.
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