Convention Advice from the FEC and House Ethics Committee
The two national political party nominating conventions are fast approaching. The Democrats hold their convention later this month in Boston, MA and the Republicans are scheduled to convene in New York, NY at the end of August. The conventions are traditionally a time of celebrating the U.S. political system, its institutions and its political leaders. Nonetheless, all celebratory events must comply with federal election law and the ethics rules of Congress, the Executive Branch and the various states and localities (depending on who attends the event). To assist with this endeavor, we point out two recent sources of applicable rules.
First, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct recently issued an advisory memorandum on conventions, summarizing the applicable House ethics rules. It can be found at www.house.gov/ethics/m_Convention_letter_3_04.htm. See also www.house.gov/ethics/m_Convention_memo.htm, clarifying Committee statements.
Second, in the July 2004 issue of the FEC's in-house publication, The Record, the Commission addresses the campaign finance rules relating to delegates attending national conventions. A question and answer section can be found at www.fec.gov/pdf/record/2004/jul04.pdf.
More detailed information on House and Senate ethics rules can be found online at www.house.gov/ethics and www.ethics.senate.gov. The FEC's convention rules can be found at part 9008 of its regulations.