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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Bob Biersack

April 18, 2008

George Smaragdis

Michelle Ryan

 

FEC Discusses Advisory Opinion Request from New York Congressional Candidate

Washington – At its open session yesterday, the Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission) discussed and voted on a draft response to an Advisory Opinion Request (AOR) from Todd Goldup, a candidate in New York’s 20th Congressional District.  Though non-binding, this draft response, along with the comments and statements of the Commissioners, can provide the requestor with informal guidance.

The Commission’s discussion of draft AO 2008-2 centered on Mr. Goldup’s ability to use campaign funds to pay himself a salary and to pay for childcare and vehicle expenses.  Mr. Goldup is a homemaker with two minor children.  Under FEC regulations, candidates who are not federal officeholders may receive salary payments from their campaigns under certain circumstances.  The draft AO states that Mr. Goldup may not pay himself a salary because he did not have earned income in the previous year.  The draft AO also states that Mr. Goldup may use campaign funds to pay for certain childcare and vehicle expenses associated with his campaign.  FEC Chairman David Mason and Vice Chair Ellen Weintraub both voted for a motion to approve the draft.

The Commission will provide Mr. Goldup with the draft response and vote tally for his request, but will advise him that the Commission was not able to approve an AO by the required four affirmative votes.

AORs are requests from individuals or organizations that have questions about plans or actions they are considering in connection with federal elections.  The Federal Election Campaign Act requires the affirmative vote of at least four Commissioners for approval of Advisory Opinions (AOs) and certain other policy decisions.  As only two of six Commissioners are in place, the Commission is precluded from rendering final decisions about AORs.

The Commission held over its discussion of an AOR from the Butler County Democrats for Change until its next meeting on May 8, 2008.

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.

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