Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Unauthorized Committees Using Candidate Names in Website Addresses

Statement of Common Cause V.P. for Policy & Litigation Paul S. Ryan

Today’s District Court ruling is disappointing as it will embolden scam PACs to trade on the names of candidates to raise money for their own ends from unknowing citizens. The core requirements of the ban though are in the statute itself and are still enforceable. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) can and should still be enforcing the ban—and opening a rulemaking to establish new disclaimer requirements for non-candidate websites that use a candidate’s name in the URL. The court itself cited such new disclaimer requirements as an appropriate means of protecting donors from being preyed upon by scam PACs.