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Comments sought on proposed change to the definition of contribution –

On July 31, 2019, the Commission published a notice of availability in the Federal Register at 84 FR 37154 that seeks public comment on a petition for rulemaking filed by Sai, Fiat Fiendum, Inc., Make Your Laws PAC, Inc., and Make Your Laws Advocacy, Inc.

The petition seeks to add to the regulatory definition of contribution the term “Valuable Information,” which would be defined as information that:

  1. Is not freely available to the public;
  2. Is provided to a person regulated by the Federal Election Campaign Act, at a cost less than the market rate or by a person not hired by the recipient to generate such information;
  3. Would cost a non-trivial amount for the recipient to obtain at their own expense; and
  4. Is information that would likely have the effect of influencing any election for federal office or that parties or candidate committees have traditionally expended money to obtain.

Under the petition’s proposal, “Valuable Information” would also include “any information that could be used to blackmail or otherwise compromise” a candidate for federal office, regardless of the source of the information.

Public comments on the petition are due by September 30, 2019. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically (reference REG 2019-01) via the Commission’s website.


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