Trevor Potter Quoted in ABC News, Super PAC Raises Beer Money

August 8, 2012, ABC News
Excerpt taken from the article.

There is one key ingredient that has been standing between Congress and a compromise plan to balance the budget: Beer.

That, at least, is what one federally-registered Super PAC is arguing. And in order to save the country from impending financial ruin, the Slam Dunks Fireworks and Eagles Super PAC is legally collecting unlimited, largely-unregulated beer money to bring happy hour back to Capitol Hill.

"In college we solve our differences by sitting down and having a beer,"said Daniel Bassali, the co-founder of Slam Dunks, Fireworks and Eagles. "I don't think our congressmen are too proud to accept a collegiate approach to deficit reductions."

It was that collegiate approach that led Bassali to create his Super PAC in the first place. After the Federal election Commission approved his political action committee, Nassali said he "really didn't know where to go with it." 

But over the Bud Light Bassali, who said he "leans to the right" on the political spectrum, and his roommate and Super PAC co-founder Winslow Marshall, who "leans to the left," decided the one thing they could agree on was the vital need for deficit reduction.

The catalyst to that compromise: a nice cold brewski.

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Under federal election rules, the Slam Dunks, Fireworks and Eagles Super PAC can collect as much beer money as donors are willing to donate as long as they spend it on political activities, said former FEC chairman Trevor Potter.

There are "really no FEC rules" dictating how Super PAC money has to be spent, Potter said, but in order to avoid federal taxes on their beverage bucks, the group has to show that it's using the money to help candidates win their campaigns. 

Which means Bassali's Super PAC has to wage more than a lobbying campaign and be able to prove that their happy hours are election-related, Potter said. They could do that by, for example, preparing to run ads supporting happy hour attendees or against congressmen who turn down the invite.

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