The Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act is also sponsored by Representatives Price and Van Hollen and contains just the super PAC/coordination provisions found in the Empowering Citizens Act. Both bills define a super PAC to be coordinated with a candidate when:
- the super PAC is directly or indirectly established by or at the request or suggestion of, or with the encouragement of, or with the approval of, the candidate or the agents of the candidate it supports;
- the candidate or the candidate’s agents solicit funds or engage in other fundraising activity for the super PAC, including by providing or sharing fundraising lists with the super PAC;
- the super PAC is established, directed or managed by former political, media or fundraising advisers or consultants to the candidate or entities controlled by the candidate;
- the super PAC has had communications with the family of the candidate about the candidate’s campaign; or
- the super PAC has retained the professional services of any person who during the same election cycle has provided or is providing professional services relating to the campaign to the candidate or the candidate’s campaign.
Once the super PAC meets any one of these criteria, all of its futures expenditures for public communications to support the candidate are deemed coordinated with the candidate. They are also treated under the law as in-kind contributions to the candidate and subject to the PAC contribution limit of $5,000 per year.
The bills also strengthen the general rules prohibiting coordination between a candidate and an outside spending group. These rules have been seriously undermined by flawed, ineffectual FEC regulations. The bills treat as coordinated expenditures any communications or payments for communications made by any person pursuant to any general or particular understanding, or based on discussions, with the candidate or the candidate’s agents about the communications or payments.