The Federal Election Commission has quietly given the green light to federal candidates who want to solicit contributions for super PACs by meeting in small groups — so small that there can be just two other people in the room.
In addition, the little-noticed advisory opinion gives permission to a candidate’s campaign consultant and other aides to solicit large donations for a super PAC, as long as they make clear that they are not making the request at the direction of the candidate.
The decisions — which came in response to a request from two Democratic super PACs, including one with close ties to Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) — further erode the boundary between campaigns and their independent allies at a time when they are already engaged in unprecedented collaboration.
Federal candidates are still not permitted to explicitly ask a donor to give more than $5,000 to a super PAC. But the latest decision means that an elected official or candidate can meet privately with just one wealthy donor and one super PAC operative to discuss fundraising for the group, said Ellen Weintraub, one of two Democrats on the six-member panel who opposed loosening the rules.