When engaging in political activity, failure to play by the rules can result in expensive or embarrassing consequences. Meanwhile, scrutiny awaits from all directions — the media, government regulators, adversaries, watchdog groups and the electorate.
Political organizations often spend countless hours of staff time and thousands of dollars struggling to make sense of it all.
By way of background, I’m a dual-licensed attorney and CPA with about a decade of experience working with PACs, political parties and candidate committees. I have also served as government relations counsel, representing Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, municipalities and labor unions before state legislatures.
Here’s a sample of what I’ve been up to over the last couple of years since I started this service line two years ago:
There are many campaign finance consulting firms out there. I believe that my approach is far superior to that of my colleagues’ from around the country because I offer three critical things that most others lack:
Objectivity – Many political committees operate in a nonpartisan fashion anyway, but even organizations with partisan objectives have responsibilities ill-suited for partisan operatives. The media may be interested in hearing your latest political message, but campaign finance regulators will not be interested.
Experience – Having worked with a wide range of entities, including businesses, labor unions, political parties, Super PACs, 501(c) organizations and separately segregated funds, I spot the issues, help implement best practices, and keep current on the changing regulatory landscape.
Flexibility – I’m easy to get a hold of, routinely travel to clients’ places of business around the country, and adapt to (and in some cases improve) existing accounting and IT systems.
These are brief documents I have written, advising, in general terms, how political committees should approach a particular scenario or transaction.
Here, I review Bitcoin transactions through a campaign finance lens. As I discuss, Bitcoin has made its way into the political sphere, and the regulations are not keeping up.
Here, I discuss the duties and liabilities associated with political committee treasurers. Treasurers may find it surprising that certain violations could result in personal liability.
Here, I consider the recordkeeping requirements for the separately segregated funds of corporations, trade associations and labor unions. As you will see, the requirements for a particular transaction vary depending on type, form and amount.
The Federal Election Commission is the independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code, which applies to certain political organizations. In addition, each state his its own parallel campaign finance and tax regulatory authorities.
Ben is easy to get a hold of from anywhere in the United States.