CLC Comments on Petition to Revise FEC Regulations on Refunding Illegal Contributions


On January 19, 2023, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a comment in REG 2022-06, a rulemaking petition that asks the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to revise its regulations regarding the refunding of illegal contributions. CLC’s comment points out that in a recently closed enforcement matter, SIG Sauer, a federal contractor that admitted making a $100,000 illegal contribution and agreed to pay a $19,000 civil penalty, also received a full refund, which more than offset the civil penalty and thus undercut the deterrent effect of enforcing the law. This matter once again illustrates why the FEC’s regulation should be revised to explicitly permit or require the disgorgement of illegal contributions to the U.S. Treasury, creating real accountability for violations of federal campaign finance laws.