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AO 2022-19: Text message links to “split-it” fundraising pages do not necessarily trigger joint fundraising rules – FEC.gov

Maggie for NH (the committee), the principal campaign committee of Sen. Maggie Hassan, may send short code text messages containing links to “split-it” fundraising pages without triggering joint fundraising rules under the Federal Election Campaign Act and Commission regulations.

Background

The committee maintains a short-code texting program to send text messages to supporters on topics relevant to the campaign and to solicit contributions. Only those who have affirmatively accepted the messages will receive them. The committee also plans to create and administer “split-it” pages on ActBlue.com. These pages allow users to make contributions to multiple committees simultaneously. Any committee with an ActBlue account can create a split-it page listing any other political committee that also has an ActBlue account. Split-it pages allow users to enter the total amount they wish to contribute and will automatically calculate the share allocated to each committee. Users can change the amounts and allocations and can elect not to contribute any amount to a listed committee. The committee asked if short code messages containing links to such fundraising pages, which allow contributions to multiple federal political committees, are subject to joint fundraising rules.

Analysis

The Commission concluded that text messages containing links to split-it fundraising pages are not subject to the joint fundraising rules. In Advisory Opinion 2014-13, the Commission concluded that the use of a split-it page “does not indicate that the recipient political committees have agreed to fundraise jointly” or that they have arranged for the distribution of contributions raised.

Maggie for NH will create and maintain split-it pages without the involvement of other committees, and it alone will determine which political committees to include. Because the recipient committees will not be involved in the creation, modification or administration of the pages, the Commission concluded that the committee’s use of ActBlue’s split-it function would not be joint fundraising. Likewise, because the text messages would be sent by Maggie for NH without the involvement of other committees, there is no indication that the committees listed on the split-it pages have agreed to fundraise jointly.

Date issued: September 14, 2022; Length: 4 pages

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