Agenda Item
Docket No. 12-052
Advisory opinion regarding whether ActBlue is required to register with the State as a political committee.
Steve Gold, general counsel for ActBlue states that ActBlue operates a website that offers tools for fundraising for Democratic candidates and committees around the country. It is available free of charge by any member of the public. ActBlue currently serves as a vendor to several political committees in Louisiana. Candidates and committees registered in Louisiana are only added to the ActBlue directory once that candidate or committee has entered into an agreement with ActBlue for the provision of contribution processing services. Contributions to candidates or political committees are processed from the credit card network directly through a merchant account owned and controlled by the candidate or committee and placed in the committee's bank account. The candidate/committee is given the name of the contributor for reporting purposes. No contributions or funds are ever under ActBlue's control or deposited into an ActBlue account. The recipient committee pays ActBlue a percentage fee which covers all cost of ActBlue's processing of the contribution. Using various tools users can select committees they would like to support.

In the absence of an agreement the contributions made through the website are processed through ActBlue's merchant account and transferred into ActBlue's bank account. The service fees are deducted from the amount received and the remaining funds along with the name of the contributor are forwarded to the candidate/committee.

Section 1483(14)(a) provides that a political committee shall include two or more persons other than a husband and spouse, and any corporation which supports or opposes one or more candidates, propositions, recalls, of a public officer, or political parties, and which accepts contributions or direct payments for personal services related to an election or a campaign in the name of the committee in an aggregate amount in excess of $500 or makes expenditures in an amount in excess of $500 in support or opposition of a candidate.
Adopt the advisory opinion.
Assigned Attorney: Aneatra Boykin
2012-052- Advisory Opinion Request