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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Judith Ingram

June 10, 2010

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
  Mary Brandenberger

FEC EXTENDS PRESS EXEMPTION TO CITIZENS UNITED

WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission approved, by a 4-1 vote, Advisory Opinion 2010-08 (Citizens United). The Commission concluded that the costs of producing and distributing films and related marketing activities by Citizens United, a corporation that is registered under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, are exempt from the definitions of “expenditure” and “electioneering communication” under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).  The Commission determined that Citizens United’s activities related to producing and distributing its documentary films are covered by the media exemption and therefore are not subject to the reporting requirements of the Act.  Commissioner Steven T. Walther dissented and issued a statement.

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 of Representatives, 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.

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