WASHINGTON — Advocates for stricter limits on corporate influence over political campaigns asked the FEC on Monday to review a policy at Wal-Mart Stores aimed at boosting manager contributions to its political action committee.

WASHINGTON — Advocates for stricter limits on corporate influence over political campaigns asked the FEC on Monday to review a policy at Wal-Mart Stores aimed at boosting manager contributions to its political action committee.


Public Citizen, Common Cause and a labor group OUR Walmart filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that Wal-Mart is violating campaign laws by offering to pay $2 into a company charity program for every $1 contributed to the campaign PAC.


"Federal law is clear — companies cannot fund their PACs with money from corporate coffers," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. "Wal-Mart is attempting to evade this law by providing a 2-to-1 charitable match from corporate coffers for any campaign contribution to its PAC from company managers. That flouts the law by using substantial corporate money to reward campaign contributors."


Wal-Mart says it is abiding by the law.


"We are confident that our matching program is lawful, and that the FEC will find this complaint brought by groups not affiliated with Walmart lacks merit," a company spokesperson told Bloomberg News.


Bloomberg News reported last year that a number of companies, including Coca Cola and Hewlett-Packard, offer to match employee contributions to their PACs with donations to charity.


Holman said the Wal-Mart program is different because it offers a two-for-one match to its own charity. The pledged funds go to Wal-Mart’s Associates in Critical Need Trust, which benefit employees facing extreme economic hardship.


The Wal-Mart PAC has raised nearly $2.8 million during the 2014 election cycle. The PAC contributed just more than $1 million that was nearly evenly split between Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress, according to OpenSecrets.org, a nonpartisan website that tracks money in politics.