What’s in an acronym? Ask the FEC.

June 17, 2015

By Alana Wise

It’s all in the capitalization. Carly for America, a super PAC backing Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina, has used crafty punctuation to settle a problem with the Federal Election Commission.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks during a “Roast & Ride” campaign event in Iowa June 6, 2015. REUTERS/Dave Kaup

After the FEC warned the super PAC last month that their use of the candidate’s name violated agency regulations, the former Carly for America officially became “Conservative, Authentic, Responsive Leadership for You and for America” – in short, CARLY for America.

The organization’s nimble footwork may be enough to head off the wrath of the FEC,  which prohibits the use of candidates’ names in the name of a PAC unless the candidate has authorized them to do so. The FEC has given the PAC until next Monday to respond to the complaint.

If you don’t see much of a difference between the two titles, you’re not alone. By Wednesday, CARLY for America was trending on Twitter, with many of the comments critical of both the super PAC for the subtle name change and the FEC for leniency in enforcing their own rules.


It’s not the first time super PACs have gotten creative with their names to avoid bumping heads with the FEC. Back in 2013, super PAC Stand with Rand said that the Rand in question was actually noted author and libertarian royalty Ayn Rand, not libertarian-friendly, 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul, whom the group had previously showered with support.

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