Federal Election Commission
Requirements for candidacy
According to the FEC, an individual becomes a federal candidate, and must begin to report their campaign finances, once he or she has either raised or spent $5,000 in pursuit of his or her campaign. Within fifteen days of this benchmark for status as a candidate, the candidate must register with the FEC and designate an official campaign committee, to be responsible for the funds and expenditures of the campaign. This committee must have an official treasurer, and cannot support any candidate but the one who registered the committee. Detailed financial reports are then made to the FEC every financial quarter after the individual is registered with the FEC. Reports are also made before primaries and before the general election.
Hacked during shutdown
According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, the FEC was hacked during the October 2013 government shutdown. All 339 FEC employees were furloughed when Chinese hackers infiltrated their computer system. This came after a security audit done in 2012. The results of the audit were:
- "Without adopting and implementing National Institute of Science and Technology minimum security controls, the FEC’s computer network, data and information is at an increased risk of loss, theft, manipulation, [and] interruption of operations."
|2014 Quarterly Reports|
|Year-End 2013||October 1 – December 31, 2013||January 31, 2014|
|April Quarterly||January 1 – March 31, 2014||April 15, 2014|
|July Quarterly||April 1 – June 30, 2014||July 15, 2014|
|October Quarterly||July 1 – September 30, 2014||October 15, 2014|
|Pre-General||October 1 – October 15, 2014||October 23, 2014|
|Post-General||October 16 – November 24, 2014||December 4, 2014|
|Year-End 2014||November 25 – December 31, 2014||January 31, 2015|
Candidates for President, Congress, State, District and Local Party Committees and political action committees were required to file seven quarterly reports in 2012. Congressional campaigns were required to file if they raised or spent over $5,000 during the election cycle. The required reports were as follows:
- Note: Filing deadlines were not extended when they fall on nonworking days.
|2012 Quarterly Reports|
|Year-End 2011||October 1 – December 31, 2011||January 31, 2012|
|April Quarterly||January 1 – March 31, 2012||April 15, 2012|
|July Quarterly||April 1 – June 30, 2012||July 15, 2012|
|October Quarterly||July 1 – September 30, 2012||October 15, 2012|
|Pre-General||October 1 – October 17, 2012||October 25, 2012|
|Post-General||October 18 – November 26, 2012||December 6, 2012|
|Year-End 2012||November 27 – December 31, 2012||January 31, 2013|
All 2012 candidates for U.S. House and Senate were required a pre-election report if the candidate ran in the election. Political parties and PACs were only required to file pre-election reports if they were filing on a quarterly basis and they made previously undisclosed contributions or expenditures in connection with any primary and/or runoff.
Deadlines for these reports varied by state. A full listing can be found on the FEC's website.
Depending on the date and amount of expenditure, some political committees and other persons were required to disclose independent expenditures within 24 or 48 hours.
These reports varied by state. A full listing can be found on the FEC's website.
Structure of the FEC
As of April 30, 2013, the Commission's six seats had one vacant seat and the other five sitting members' terms had expired. President Obama had nominated a replacement, labor lawyer John Sullivan, for the open seat in May 2009, but the Senate placed a hold on the nomination for over a year before Obama withdrew the nomination.
- Federal Election Commission, "About the FEC," accessed June 27, 2012
- Federal Election Commission "Candidate Registration Brochure" Accessed December 7, 2012
- The Hill, "Report: FEC system hacked during shutdown," accessed December 17, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "2014 Reporting Deadlines," accessed February 26, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "2012 Supplemental Filing Information," accessed June 27, 2012
- Federal Election Commission, "2012 Reporting Deadlines," accessed June 27, 2012
- Bloomberg, "Should We Kill the Federal Election Commission?", April 30, 2013
- WhiteHouse.gov, "Presidential Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate, 8/5/10", August 5, 2010