A new organization of citizens formed to promote free political speech has filed an advisory opinion request with the Federal Election Commission. The organization, SpeechNow.org, is represented before the Commission by the Center for Competitive Politics and the Institute for Justice.
The request asks the Commission whether an unincorporated organization that makes no contributions to federal candidates, does not "coordinate" any of its activities with candidates or other organizations, and is funded solely by individual citizens, may run independent expenditures without having to register as a “political committee.”
SpeechNow.org intends to report donations for its communications under federal law and to place disclaimers on its advertising, but asks the Commission whether it must continually report as a "political committee" and subject itself to contribution limits. If SpeechNow.org must subject itself to contribution limits, it will be unable to do what it wants to do: advocate the election or defeat of candidates on the basis of their support for free political speech.
SpeechNow.org is hopeful that the Commission will find that SpeechNow.org poses no threat of corruption or the appearance of corruption to candidates or the electoral process, and that SpeechNow.org may operate as requested.
A copy of the request may be found online HERE .