In a similar case, however, the FEC exempted car dealership ads even though the dealership bore the same name as the candidate. The candidate did not appear in the ads, the FEC said.
Groups that sponsor electioneering communications have to disclose publicly the names of donors who gave $1,000 or more and the amount spent on an ad.
The FEC’s draft opinion in Mullin’s case says he won’t have to disclose the names of customers who spend $1,000 or more on plumbing services.
In a recent case, a federal judge defined a contributor as a person “who gives money without expectation of service or property or legal right in return.” Mullin’s customers, the FEC draft opinion says, gave money in exchange for plumbing services.