The Federal Elections Commission has published a final rule that should help life insurance trade groups increase contributions to their political action committees.[@@]

The FEC rule, which appears today in the Federal Register, will let “solicitable class employees” == corporate executives, corporate administrative personnel and employee-stockholders who belong to trade associations == contribute to the trade association PACs through payroll deductions or check-off systems.

The FEC says it received a request for the rule change in 2003 and has since received 34 comments on the proposal. None of the comments opposed the proposal, FEC officials write in the preamble to the final rule.

The FEC believes permitting voluntary PAC contributions to be made through a payroll deduction system will help guard against the corrupting influence of large financial contributions to candidates by encouraging citizen participation in political campaigns, FEC officials write.

The FEC officials note that any corporate member of a trade association that chooses to provide incidental services to collect and forward voluntary contributions from its solicitable class employees to the trade association’s PAC must provide the same services upon request to the PAC of a labor organization representing any members working for the corporation or the corporation’s subsidiaries, divisions, branches or affiliates.

The FEC final rule is on the Web at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/pdf/05-14318.pdf