Lawmakers Slow to Comply With New Filing Requirement

Scores of lawmakers missed a deadline to start disclosing their ties to political action committees as required by law. The law requires that any fund-raising committee must file as a leadership PAC “if the committee is directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained or controlled by a federal candidate or officeholder.” It was designed to allow the public for the first time to see all contributions received by lawmakers from lobbyists and general donors– no matter which entity cashed the check.
Leadership PACs are generally used to support the campaigns of House and Senate colleagues–and thus win friends who might back pet projects–and finance party-building efforts.
The new disclosures were due at the Federal Election Commission by March 29. The deadline was set by the FEC as it implemented a larger campaign finance overhaul law passed in September 2007 (PL 110-81). While more than 230 lawmakers met the deadline, a significant number with known connections to leadership PACs did not.
The 92 PACS known to be controlled by members who have not filed or filed late raised more than $15 million during the 2008 cycle, according to an analysis by CQ MoneyLine.

Source: CQ Today Online News April 3, 2009
Find out more about leadership PACs and deadlines by listening to Capitol Learning’s audio program, “The Federal Election Commission’s Final Rules on Bundling and The Executive Branch rules on Gifts,” by Carol Laham of Wiley Rein, LLP.