By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On Tuesday, a Federal appeals court upheld Alabama’s ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers.
The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in favor of the State in the case of The Alabama Democratic Conference v. Strange.
By upholding the decision of the lower court, the court of appeals agrees that the ban of PAC-to-PAC transfers is necessary to prevent corruption, or the appearance of corruption, while not violating the First Amendment.
In a press release, Attorney General Luther Strange said, “The appeals court ruling is a significant victory in Alabama’s ongoing fight against public corruption. The PAC-to-PAC transfer ban has been instrumental in limiting campaign corruption, while adding greater transparency to the elections process. I am pleased the federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of this important law.”
The 2010 Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) made it “unlawful for any political action committee… to make a contribution, expenditure, or any other transfer of funds to any other political action committee.” The only exception to the rule is that a PAC can donate to a PAC set up by a candidate but full disclosure is required by both parties.
Originally, the FCPA reports were handwritten or typed then submitted to the Secretary of State’s office. After receipt, they were scanned into a PDF to be made available on the internet. As of 2015, all FCPA reports are legally required to be filed in online forms provided by the SOS website. The data is automatically inserted into a searchable database.