Federal Political Action Committees

What is a Federal Political Action Committee (PAC)?

The term "political action committee" (PAC) refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC): separate segregated funds (SSFs) and nonconnected committees. 

SSFs are political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations. These committees can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organizations. 

Nonconnected committees are not sponsored by or connected to any of the aforementioned entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public.

 

Does a Federal Political Action Committee (PAC) have to register with your office?

A political committee that is subject to reporting under both Section 1-45-108, C.R.S. and the Federal Election Commission Act of 1971 must register with our office as a Federal PAC and file disclosure reports.

To determine whether or not you need to register with our office, see Rule 1.18, which defines a political committee.  A political committee is a person or group of persons with a major purpose of supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more candidates. For the purposes of Rule 1.18, major purpose means:

  • The organization specifically identifies supporting or opposing the nomination of one or more candidates for state or local public office as a primary objective in its organizing documents; or
  • Annual expenditures made to support or oppose the nomination or election of one or more candidates for state or local public office are a majority of the organizations’ total spending during the same period.

If a person or group of persons does not meet these major purpose tests, they are not considered a political committee under Colorado campaign finance law and are not required to register and file disclosure reports.

 

How do I register our Political Action Committee with you?

Before registering make sure that you have:

  • The committee name and any acronyms that you will use.
  • A registered agent.
  • The registered agent's email address and phone number.
  • Physical and mailing addresses for the committee's principal place of business.
  • A description of your committee's purpose.  This information should be detailed, including candidates, ballot measure numbers, or policy positions that you will support or oppose.
  • Financial information, including the name of the bank where the committee has or will have an account.

To register:

  1. Go to the TRACER campaign finance disclosure website.
  2. Click on the "Committee Registration" button.
  3. Select "Federal PAC", then click on "Next".
  4. Fill out the form.  When you are finished, click on "Submit".
  5. Print a copy of the form for your records.
  6. Click on "Finished" to complete your registration.
  7. Login information will be sent to the registered agent's email address.

If you need help using TRACER, see Learn to Use TRACER.

 

I have more questions.

See the Federal Political Action Committee FAQs.


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