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Interpretative Opinion 2018-02

Interpretative Opinion 2018-02

April 6, 2018

VIA E-MAIL AND FIRST-CLASS MAIL

Clinton LeSueur

5614 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Apt #149

Washington, D.C. 20015

Re: Registration requirements

Dear Mr. LeSueur:

This responds to your request for an opinion regarding whether your political action committee known as “Run Vince Run” is required to register with the Office of Campaign Finance.

D.C. Official Code §1-1163.07 states in pertinent part that: “Political, exploratory, transition, and inaugural committees, which are established pursuant to this part, shall be subject to the following requirements:

Each committee shall file with the Director of the Office of Campaign Finance a statement of organization within 10 days after its organization. The statement of organization shall include:

The name and address of the committee;

The name , address , and position of the custodian of books and accounts;

The name, address, and position of other principal officers, including officers and members of the finance committee, if any;

The name and address of the bank or banks designated by the committee as the committee’s depository or depositories, together with the subchapter and number of each account and safety deposit box used by that committee at the depository or depositories; and the identification of each individual authorized to make withdrawals or payments out of each account or box; and

Other information as shall be required by the Director of Campaign Finance.

D.C. Official Code §1-1161.01(43A) states that: “Political action committee” means any committee, club, association, organization, or group of individuals that is:

“(A) Organized for the principal purpose of promoting or opposing:

“(i) The nomination or election of a person to public office;

“(ii) Apolitical part; or

“(iii) any initiative, referendum, or recall; and

“(B) Not controlled by or coordinated with;

“(i) Any public official or candidate; or

“(ii) Any person acting on behalf of a public official or candidate”.

Despite the fact that you choose to identify your “Run Vince Run” Political action committee as a Super PAC, it is apparent that at least one of the objectives of your committee is to encourage Councilmember Vincent Gray to seek elective office in the

District of Columbia. Thus, your emphasis on encouraging a local politician to seek a local office clearly requires you to register your committee with the office of Campaign Finance.

Merely referring to your committee as a “Super Pac” does not eliminate the above referenced statutory requirements and does not remove the jurisdiction of the Office of Campaign Finance over political committees that are engaged in local political campaigns. Consequently, you are required to register with the Office of Campaign Finance immediately.

If you fail to comply with the registration requirements you may be found in violation of the District of Columbia Campaign Finance Act and subject to fines and penalties in accordance with D. C. Official Code. §1-1163.35.

The foregoing is an Interpretative Opinion of the Director of the Office of Campaign Finance. Pursuant to D.C. Official Code §1-1163.06, you are entitled to request an Advisory Opinion from the Board of Elections on this transaction or activity.

Should you have any additional questions, please contact William O. SanFord, General Counsel, at (202) 671-0550.