This page contains answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. If you have a question that is not on this list, please contact us and someone will be happy to assist you.
Table of Contents
- What is a Political Action Committee?
- What are the registration requirements in the District of Columbia?
- What are the reporting requirements in the District of Columbia?
- What is a contribution?
- What are the contribution limits in the District of Columbia?
- What are the contribution limits in Maryland?
- What are the contribution limits in Virginia?
- What are the federal reporting requirements?
- Where can I obtain public C-PAC reports?
A political action committee (PAC) is a proposer, individual, committee (PAC), (including a principal campaign committee), club, association, organization or other group of individuals organized for the purpose of, or engaged in, promoting or opposing a political party, the nomination or election of an individual to office, or any initiative, referendum or recall. A political committee is either an authorized or an unauthorized committee. An authorized committee means the principal campaign committee or any other political committee is authorized and designated by a candidate on the Statement of Candidacy form to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such candidate. An unauthorized committee is any other political committee, which has not been designated by a candidate. C-PAC is an unauthorized committee.
All political committees (authorized or unauthorized), must register with the Office of Campaign Finance and file a Statement of Organization form within ten (10) days of organization. A political committee must have a treasurer and a chairperson. The same person cannot serve as both treasurer and chairperson.
The treasurer of each political committee must file a Report of Receipts and Expenditures on January 31st, and the 10th day of March, June, August, October, December, and 8 days preceding the date of each election, if the political committee is actively supporting candidates during the year in which an election is held. Political committees not supporting candidates during a year, in which an election is held, must file a Notification of Non-Support form with the Office of Campaign Finance on or before January 31st of the year in which an election is held. Reports must be filed by January 31st and July 31st from political committees filing Notifications of Non-Support and by all political committees during a non-election year.
A contribution is any gift or transfer of money, goods or services, a subscription (including any assessment, fee or membership dues), loan (except a loan made in the regular course of business by a business engaged in the business of making loans), or anything of value, made for the purpose of financing, directly or indirectly, the election campaign of a candidate or any operations of a political committee involved in such a campaign, to obtain signatures on any initiative, referendum or recall measure, or to bring about the ratification or defeat of any initiative, referendum, or recall measure.
Individuals, partnerships, committees, corporations, and labor organizations may make contributions in support of or in opposition to candidates for nomination or election to office. Contributors must be knowledgeable of the limits imposed by the Act on contributions. Contributions made to support or oppose initiative or referendum measures, are unaffected by the limits. Political committees are limited to contributions of $5,000.00 from any one source in any one election (including primary and general elections) but excluding special elections). Notwithstanding the foregoing, contributions to a candidate’s principal campaign committee are treated as contributions to the candidate and subject to the individual candidate contribution limitations.No person may contribute to the support of an individual’s campaign for nomination as a candidate or election to public office, including both the primary and general elections or special elections, amounts exceeding: $2,000 for Mayor, Shadow Senator and Shadow Representative $1,500 for Chairman of the Council $1,000 for an At-Large Council member $500 for President of the Board of Education, At-Large Member, Board of Education, or for a Ward Council member $300 for a member of the Board of Education elected from a school district or for an official of a political party
An individual , corporation, other business entity, union or political club may contribute no more than $4,000.00 to one campaign finance entity (such as a PAC) and a total of no more than $10,000.00 to all such entities during “the four year election cycle”. (2010 Cycle: – 1/1/07 – 12/31/10). A PAC cannot contribute more than $6,000.00 to a candidate during the four year election cycle.
Virginia places no limits on the amount an individual or corporation may contribute to a candidate or political action committee. Nor is there any limit to the amount a political committee may contribute to a candidate.
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, any organization receiving contributions or making expenditures in excess of $1,000.00 for the purpose of influencing a federal election is considered a PAC and must register with the Federal Elections Commission. Contribution to a Federal PAC by individuals is limited to $5,000.00. Federal PAC’s cannot accept corporate contributions.
Copies of C-PAC’s reports may be obtained from:The Office of Campaign Finance Reeves Municipal Center 2000 14th St, NW, Suite 420 Washington, DC 20009 Telephone (202) 671-0550 or (202) 671-0547