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BEFORE THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

In the matter of

Allison M. Thomas

Alexander Audit Fund, Inc. and Todd Eardensohn, as treasurer

Alexander for President 1996 and Todd Eardensohn, as treasurer

Princeton's Restaurant

MUR 5033

 

 

STATEMENT OF REASONS

 

            This matter arose from a filing by Allison M. Thomas on June 19, 2000, alleging that in 1995 he and other employees of Princeton’s Restaurant were reimbursed for contributions made to Alexander for President 1996, Lamar Alexander’s 1996 presidential primary committee.  The Office of the General Counsel had recommended finding reason to believe certain persons violated the law, but taking no further action beyond sending admonishment letters.  This Statement of Reasons explains the Commission’s 6-0 vote on March 13, 2001, simply to take no further action as to Allison M. Thomas, Princeton’s Restaurant, Alexander Audit Fund, Inc. and Todd Eardensohn, as treasurer, and Alexander for President 1996 and Todd Eardensohn, as treasurer, and close the file in MUR 5033.

 

            The Commission determined to take no further action as to these respondents and close the file for procedural and substantive reasons.  As of the date of Allison M. Thomas’ filing with the Commission, more than five years had passed since the alleged violations.  The expiration of the statute of limitations for this activity and at the time the complaint was filed the staleness of the activity in this matter relative to other matters pending before the Commission weighs heavily in its determination to take no further action.  Furthermore, Alexander Audit Fund, Inc. was named as a respondent in this matter in error and Alexander for President 1996 was administratively terminated by the Commission on May 7, 1999. 

 

            The Commission already has concluded a settlement agreement with an additional respondent, Dr. Daniel R. Hightower, President of Princeton’s Restaurant.[1]  That agreement includes a requirement that Princeton’s Restaurant adopt and distribute a corporate policy prohibiting corporate contributions to federal elections and, thus, already effectuates remediation with regard to the corporation. 

 

            Substantively, the facts of this complaint do not justify a reason to believe finding against the recipient committee.  The fact that an authorized committee receives contributions from individuals employed by the same company, for the same amount, and on the same date, without other factors, is not sufficient to find reason to believe that a violation has occurred.  See MUR 4850 (Fosella).  The facts alleged in this complaint do not suggest a breach by the recipient committee’s treasurer of the duties required by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, and Commission regulations.  See 2 U.S.C.  432(h)(1); 11 C.F.R.  103.3 and 104.14. 

 

            Finally, little purpose would be served by making findings with respect to the complainant who has acknowledged regret for his actions and sought redress by filing this complaint. 

 

            Based on the above, the Commission determined by a 6-0 vote to take no further action against Allison M. Thomas, Princeton’s Restaurant, Alexander Audit Fund, Inc. and Todd Eardensohn, as treasurer, and Alexander for President 1996 and Todd Eardensohn, as treasurer, and closed the file in this matter.

 

May 5, 2001

 

 

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_________________________________                  _________________________________

Danny L. McDonald, Chairman                                    David M. Mason, Vice Chairman

 

 

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_________________________________                  _________________________________     

Karl J. Sandstrom, Commissioner                                 Bradley A. Smith, Commissioner

 

 

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_________________________________                  _________________________________

Scott E. Thomas, Commissioner                                   Darryl R. Wold, Commissioner



[1]The Commission accepted the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office’s recommended settlement in ADR-0010 providing for a $1,200 civil penalty.