For example, Joe Biden recently visited Seattle and one could attend the event in exchange for a donation ranging from $500 to $25,000. Most of the donation goes to the "Biden Victory Fund" PAC (to avoid breaking the $3,300/person donation limit).

Why is a candidate allowed to fund raise for a PAC? I've thought that candidates are not allowed to coordinate their activities with PACs but in this case Joe Biden is clearly intimately involved with them.

Note: This is not about Joe Biden. Other candidates follow the exact same strategy to avoid the donations cap.

  • 8
    That's the whole point of PAC's - to get around campaign contribution limits - which neither party wants
    – Pete W
    Commented May 12 at 12:36

3 Answers 3


Private coordination on expenditures is banned. As for coordination on fundraising activities, some rules seem to be described on these pages from the FEC's website: Fundraising for Super PACs by federal candidates, Fundraising for other candidates, committees and organizations

federal candidates and officeholders may attend, speak at and be featured guests at fundraisers for Super PACs at which unlimited individual, corporate and labor organization contributions are solicited, so long as they restrict any solicitation they make to funds subject to the limitations, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the Act.

It looks like there may be some limitations on how much the candidates/officeholders may personally solicit, but I see that the website linked in the question states that "Biden Victory Fund cordially invites you to...", not "President Joe Biden invites you to."

There are some stricter rules that seem to apply only to federal candidates and officeholders' participation in nonfederal fundraisers.



Why is it legal for Joe Biden to fund raise for a PAC, given that PACs aren't supposed to coordinate with candidates?

They don't coordinate their spending. Every candidate who has or ever has had a PAC fundraises for it. People give to a PAC to support their candidate. Candidates have PACs in order to raise more money than traditional campaign accounts allow for. PACs spend the money they raise on behalf of the candidate, but they aren't permitted to directly coordinate on how they spend the money they raise on behalf and through their candidate.

  • They don't privately coordinate their spending, but it turns out there's loopholes used where a candidate can coordinate with PACs as long as the coordination isn't giving direction or explicit suggestions, and takes place publicly. This means, PACs can follow their candidate's speeches or tweets, and change and align their messaging with the candidate. Some candidates are suspected (due to accounts found) of having set up twitter accounts with zero followers that the PAC reads, and have it tweet out abstract numbers that are actually internal polling data they want the PAC to have access to.
    – Jamin Grey
    Commented May 13 at 18:25

It's because fundraising events are generally considered permissible because they are seen as separate from the day-to-day operations of the PAC. Candidates can lend their support to these events without directly coordinating with the PAC on how the funds are spent or on specific campaign strategies.

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