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JS4Pat
08-05-2007, 06:26 AM
Our Meetup Group has spent over $2,500 on supplies and was looking for an easy way to raise money for our group - so we did this:

http://ronpaul.meetup.com/166/calendar/6124367/

We then received this message from one of our Group members:

What you are doing is probably illegal you can't take donations to support a candidate yet not file them officially with the candidates approval you especially can't legally spend the the money maybe there is some loophole for small donations but I seriously doubt it.

are you planning on registering as an organized group with the supervisor of elections?

MY RESPONSE BELOW:

Thanks for the heads up guys. Need to get further clarification on this. The National Campaign site does not say that Meetup Groups CAN'T collect funds. It says you SHOULD donate directly to the national campaign. And they use the term MAY be in violation of complex campaign finance laws.

Quote Below:
As such, contributions to the Ron Paul Campaign should be made directly to the official campaign committee through the secure Official Donation Webpage . Those collecting contributions through Meetup.com groups may be unwittingly running afoul of complex campaign finance regulations or may be deceptively collecting money for other purposes.

Perhaps it is just a case of semantics. Maybe we need to only accept donations for administrative and supply costs in support of the Meetup Group not in support of electing Ron Paul president.

All I know is that our Meetup Group is out over $2,500 in supplies. There should be some way to raise this money in a free country. :)

Comments, Thoughts, Advice?

honkywill
08-05-2007, 05:36 PM
My group just had it's first meetup.

The lady who we chose as secretary informed us that monetary contributions are to be documented.

Quite frankly I this requirement is a bunch of bullshit. It's my money.

Brandybuck
08-05-2007, 06:12 PM
The campaign's guidelines and suggestions are not orders to do the opposite! Why do you wish to get the campaign in trouble with the FEC? The central campaign is deliberately not telling meetups what to do and not to do. That keeps the meetups from being "official". But that won't stop the FEC if they get a burr up their ass.

My strong suggestion is to follow the the grassroots guidelines as if they were hard and fast concrete commandments.

honkywill
08-05-2007, 07:13 PM
well i'm going to go along with it. it's just a pain in the asssss.

Bradley in DC
08-05-2007, 07:53 PM
By far, the best thing for the Meetup groups to do NOT spend the money through the Meetup groups themselves but to limit themselves to "coordinating" individual's work.

ZandarKoad
08-05-2007, 08:02 PM
Ah, ain't no law tellin me that I can't spend every last dime I earn on Ron Paul swag. I'm not a 501c3 corporation.

Also, if you are collecting money from your meetup group to spend on other things and you are seriously concerned about this, then just give each donor a reciept for the products they've purchased. Then make sure you note somewhere on paper that they bought such and such items. That way, it's just a private man or woman who's spending their money in a way they see fit.

If you dig deep enough, it's all just fraud on their end anyway.

Razmear
08-05-2007, 11:57 PM
This is why we need a PAC, then there are no limits on spending for ads and materials.

JS4Pat
08-06-2007, 06:55 AM
The campaign's guidelines and suggestions are not orders to do the opposite! Why do you wish to get the campaign in trouble with the FEC? The central campaign is deliberately not telling meetups what to do and not to do. That keeps the meetups from being "official". But that won't stop the FEC if they get a burr up their ass.

My strong suggestion is to follow the the grassroots guidelines as if they were hard and fast concrete commandments.

What Grassroots Guidelines?????

Dary
08-06-2007, 07:24 AM
Why do you wish to get the campaign in trouble with the FEC?

Who said anything about wishing to get the campaign in trouble with the FEC?

The whole point to JS4Patís post was to avoid getting the campaign in trouble with the FEC.

Can you provide us with the grassroots guidelines?

Dary
08-06-2007, 09:41 AM
What Grassroots Guidelines?????

Here they are JS4Pat

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/get-involved/grass-roots-guidelines/

Paul4Prez
08-07-2007, 11:36 PM
The FEC brochure on independent expenditures (vs. coordinated expenditures) is online here:

FEC Coordinated Communications and Independent Expenditures Brochure (http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/indexp.shtml)

It's pretty complicated, so read through it yourself. I read it to say that individual expenditures are unlimited, but have to be clearly identified as such, not be made with any communication with the campaign, and you have to file reports if you spend more than $250 in a given year.

I'm not a lawyer and haven't dealt with this before, so if someone has more insight, please reply to this thread.