This bill would come down heavy on coordination between political candidates and Super PACs (Super Political Action Committees).
Super PACs are political fundraising organizations that can accept donations of unlimited size from individuals and groups. They may not contribute directly to (or coordinate officially with) candidates’ campaigns, but can run shadow campaigns by independently advocating for or against candidates.
This legislation would alter language in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to more strictly define what constitutes “coordination” between Super PACs and candidates. This would help ensure that a Super PAC dedicated to a single candidate does not simply function as an (unlimited, less regulated) arm of that candidate’s campaign. Specifically, under this legislation, a Super PAC would be illegal if:
It was created at the suggestion or encouragement of the candidate it supports;
The candidate (or the candidate’s agents) fundraise for (or share fundraising lists with) the Super PAC;
The Super PAC is established or directed by former advisers or consultants to the candidate, or by members of the candidate’s immediate family
The Super PAC has retained the professional services of anyone who provided professional campaign services to the candidate in the past two years
This sort of collaboration between candidates and Super PACs is common, but usually overlooked by regulators. Super PACs are often run by friends of the candidate they support, are endorsed by the candidate's committee, or schedule the candidate as a "special guest" at fundraisers in his/her name. Those connections shouldn't be surprising though, these are groups of people who are willing to raise and put down a lot of money for a candidate — it makes sense that they would be close connections.
The legislation would also prohibit Super PACs from using an “internal firewall” loophole to skirt coordination bans by setting up a separate “independent” division for expenditures. It would also eliminate a ban on political contributions from minors that the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 2003.