11 CFR 100.29 - Electioneering communication (2 U.S.C. 434(f)(3)).

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§ 100.29 Electioneering communication (2 U.S.C. 434(f)(3)).
(a) Electioneering communication means any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that:
(1) Refers to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office;
(2) Is publicly distributed within 60 days before a general election for the office sought by the candidate; or within 30 days before a primary or preference election, or a convention or caucus of a political party that has authority to nominate a candidate, for the office sought by the candidate, and the candidate referenced is seeking the nomination of that political party; and
(3) Is targeted to the relevant electorate, in the case of a candidate for Senate or the House of Representatives.
(b) For purposes of this section—(1) Broadcast, cable, or satellite communication means a communication that is publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, cable television system, or satellite system.
(2) Refers to a clearly identified candidate means that the candidate's name, nickname, photograph, or drawing appears, or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent through an unambiguous reference such as “the President,” “your Congressman,” or “the incumbent,” or through an unambiguous reference to his or her status as a candidate such as “the Democratic presidential nominee” or “the Republican candidate for Senate in the State of Georgia.”
(3)
(i) Publicly distributed means aired, broadcast, cablecast or otherwise disseminated through the facilities of a television station, radio station, cable television system, or satellite system.
(ii) In the case of a candidate for nomination for President or Vice President, publicly distributed means the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section are met and the communication:
(A) Can be received by 50,000 or more persons in a State where a primary election, as defined in 11 CFR 9032.7, is being held within 30 days; or
(B) Can be received by 50,000 or more persons anywhere in the United States within the period between 30 days before the first day of the national nominating convention and the conclusion of the convention.
(4) A special election or a runoff election is a primary election if held to nominate a candidate. A special election or a runoff election is a general election if held to elect a candidate.
(5) Targeted to the relevant electorate means the communication can be received by 50,000 or more persons—
(i) In the district the candidate seeks to represent, in the case of a candidate for Representative in or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress; or
(ii) In the State the candidate seeks to represent, in the case of a candidate for Senator.
(6)
(i) Information on the number of persons in a Congressional district or State that can receive a communication publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, a cable television system, or satellite system, shall be available on the Federal Communications Commission's Web site, http://www.fcc.gov. A link to that site is available on the Federal Election Commission's Web site, http://www.fec.gov. If the Federal Communications Commission's Web site indicates that a communication cannot be received by 50,000 or more persons in the specified Congressional district or State, then such information shall be a complete defense against any charge that such communication constitutes an electioneering communication, so long as such information is posted on the Federal Communications Commission's Web site on or before the date the communication is publicly distributed.
(ii) If the Federal Communications Commission's Web site does not indicate whether a communication can be received by 50,000 or more persons in the specified Congressional district or State, it shall be a complete defense against any charge that a communication reached 50,000 or more persons when the maker of a communication:
(A) Reasonably relies on written documentation obtained from the broadcast station, radio station, cable system, or satellite system that states that the communication cannot be received by 50,000 or more persons in the specified Congressional district (for U.S. House of Representatives candidates) or State (for U.S. Senate candidates or presidential primary candidates);
(B) Does not publicly distribute the communication on a broadcast station, radio station, or cable system, located in any Metropolitan Area in the specified Congressional district (for U.S. House of Representatives candidates) or State (for U.S. Senate candidates or presidential primary candidates); or
(C) Reasonably believes that the communication cannot be received by 50,000 or more persons in the specified Congressional district (for U.S. House of Representatives candidates) or State (for U.S. Senate candidates or presidential primary candidates).
(7)
(i) Can be received by 50,000 or more persons means—
(A) In the case of a communication transmitted by an FM radio broadcast station or network, where the Congressional district or State lies entirely within the station's or network's protected or primary service contour, that the population of the Congressional district or State is 50,000 or more; or
(B) In the case of a communication transmitted by an FM radio broadcast station or network, where a portion of the Congressional district or State lies outside of the protected or primary service contour, that the population of the part of the Congressional district or State lying within the station's or network's protected or primary service contour is 50,000 or more; or
(C) In the case of a communication transmitted by an AM radio broadcast station or network, where the Congressional district or State lies entirely within the station's or network's most outward service area, that the population of the Congressional district or State is 50,000 or more; or
(D) In the case of a communication transmitted by an AM radio broadcast station or network, where a portion of the Congressional district or State lies outside of the station's or network's most outward service area, that the population of the part of the Congressional district or State lying within the station's or network's most outward service area is 50,000 or more; or
(E) In the case of a communication appearing on a television broadcast station or network, where the Congressional district or State lies entirely within the station's or network's Grade B broadcast contour, that the population of the Congressional district or State is 50,000 or more; or
(F) In the case of a communication appearing on a television broadcast station or network, where a portion of the Congressional district or State lies outside of the Grade B broadcast contour—
(1) That the population of the part of the Congressional district or State lying within the station's or network's Grade B broadcast contour is 50,000 or more; or
(2) That the population of the part of the Congressional district or State lying within the station's or network's broadcast contour, when combined with the viewership of that television station or network by cable and satellite subscribers within the Congressional district or State lying outside the broadcast contour, is 50,000 or more; or
(G) In the case of a communication appearing exclusively on a cable or satellite television system, but not on a broadcast station or network, that the viewership of the cable system or satellite system lying within a Congressional district or State is 50,000 or more; or
(H) In the case of a communication appearing on a cable television network, that the total cable and satellite viewership within a Congressional district or State is 50,000 or more.
(ii) Cable or satellite television viewership is determined by multiplying the number of subscribers within a Congressional district or State, or a part thereof, as appropriate, by the current national average household size, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.
(iii) A determination that a communication can be received by 50,000 or more persons based on the application of the formula at paragraph (b)(7)(i)(G) or (H) of this section shall create a rebuttable presumption that may be overcome by demonstrating that—
(A) One or more cable or satellite systems did not carry the network on which the communication was publicly distributed at the time the communication was publicly distributed; and
(B) Applying the formula to the remaining cable and satellite systems results in a determination that the cable network or systems upon which the communication was publicly distributed could not be received by 50,000 persons or more.
(c) The following communications are exempt from the definition of electioneering communication. Any communication that:
(1) Is publicly disseminated through a means of communication other than a broadcast, cable, or satellite television or radio station. For example, electioneering communication does not include communications appearing in print media, including a newspaper or magazine, handbill, brochure, bumper sticker, yard sign, poster, billboard, and other written materials, including mailings; communications over the Internet, including electronic mail; or telephone communications;
(2) Appears in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcast, cable, or satellite television or radio station, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate. A news story distributed through a broadcast, cable, or satellite television or radio station owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate is nevertheless exempt if the news story meets the requirements described in 11 CFR 100.132(a) and (b);
(3) Constitutes an expenditure or independent expenditure provided that the expenditure or independent expenditure is required to be reported under the Act or Commission regulations;
(4) Constitutes a candidate debate or forum conducted pursuant to 11 CFR 110.13, or that solely promotes such a debate or forum and is made by or on behalf of the person sponsoring the debate or forum; or
(5) Is paid for by a candidate for State or local office in connection with an election to State or local office, provided that the communication does not promote, support, attack or oppose any Federal candidate. See11 CFR 300.71 for communications paid for by a candidate for State or local office that promotes, supports, attacks or opposes a Federal candidate.
[67 FR 65210, 65217, Oct. 23, 2002, as amended at 70 FR 75717, Dec. 21, 2005]

Title 11 published on 2014-01-01

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For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-03-26; vol. 79 # 58 - Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    1. 79 FR 16661 - Federal Election Campaign Act Rules; Corrections
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
      Correcting amendments.
      Effective March 26, 2014.
      11 CFR Parts 4, 100, 102, 104, 110, 111, and 114

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United States Code

Title 11 published on 2014-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 11 CFR 100 after this date.

  • 2014-10-02; vol. 79 # 191 - Thursday, October 2, 2014
    1. 79 FR 59459 - Rulemaking Petition: Federal Office
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
      Petition for Rulemaking: Notice of Availability.
      Statements in support of or in opposition to the petition must be submitted on or before November 3, 2014.
      11 CFR Part 100