On May 9, the Federal Election Commission issued Advisory Opinion 2013-01, saying that the 1787 Party does not qualify as a “national committee” because it has never placed a candidate for federal office on the ballot. The Opinion’s conclusion is not novel; this has always been the FEC’s position. Over the last 33 years, various parties have applied to the FEC for “national committee” status. Parties that have been granted “national committee” status are the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist, Natural Law, Constitution, Reform, and Green Parties (parties are listed in the order in which they qualified). Parties granted “National Committee” status always received that status after they had participated in at least one regularly-scheduled federal election. The only exception was that the Natural Law Party gained its status in September 1992, before it had participated in an election but after it had demonstrated that it had placed some federal candidates on the ballot.
However, the new FEC opinion seems to hint that a group can gain “National Committee” status if it just runs one federal candidate. That suggests a more permissive stance than the FEC has used in the past. To read the opinion, click on the link above, which takes one to another link provided by the FEC. Click on that link. Then click the “search” box. That brings up not only the opinion, but the submission from the 1787 Party, which describes the party and includes its Bylaws.
Having “national committee” status never has had any impact on whether a minor party presidential candidate can qualify for primary season matching funds. The presidential candidates of the Citizens Party and the New Alliance Party received primary season matching funds, even though their parties never had “national committee” status.
The 1787 Party was apparently formed in January 2013, and says its goal is to “find intelligent and sustainable solutions for our national challenges. Every policy is grounded in extensive research and common sense. There is no preconceived agenda, no inflexible platform, and no misplaced loyalty to special interest groups.” It says it intends to obtain a place on the ballot in 2014 in as many states as possible. Its web page will not be available until June 1, 2013, but apparently that web page address will be www.1787forAmerica.org. Thanks to Political Activity Law for the link to the FEC ruling.