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FEC Record: Litigation

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Vroom v. FEC

On January 27, 2012, Peter J. Vroom filed a complaint in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Vroom’s complaint challenges the Commission’s decision to dismiss an administrative complaint he had filed with the Commission concerning AO 2009-18, the disaffiliation of Penske Truck Leasing’s SSF (Penske PAC) and General Electric Company Political Action Committee (GEPAC). Mr. Vroom’s administrative complaint stated that Penske remained completely dependent upon GE for its financial survival, and that because GE remained the “control party” in the Penske Truck Leasing Joint Venture, the FEC should have denied disaffiliation of their separate segregated funds.

Mr. Vroom’s court complaint alleges that the FEC did not examine his supporting documentation before dismissing his administrative complaint. This supporting documentation included mainly a copy of his November 1, 2010, complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in which he alleged that GE’s March 2009 deconsolidation of Penske from its balance sheet was illegally accomplished through a series of prior loans from GE to Penske.

Mr. Vroom further alleges that the FEC’s decision to grant disaffiliation to GEPAC and Penske PAC was unprecedented because of the “razor thin” joint venture ownership ratio of 50.1% and 49.9% between their connected organizations. According to Mr. Vroom’s court filing, no organization having more than a 40% outside interest was ever granted disaffiliation by the FEC.

Mr. Vroom’s court complaint asks that the District Court instruct the Commission to reconsider his complete complaint and to apply FEC precedent and factors of affiliation to determine the affiliation status of GEPAC and Penske PAC, or to issue a declaratory judgment that GEPAC and Penske PAC are in fact affiliated.

Case no. 1:12-cv-00143-RMC

(Posted 2/8/12; By: Christopher Berg)

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The FEC Record is produced by the Information Division, Office of Communications. Toll free 800-424-9530; Local 202-694-1100; E-mail info@fec.gov. Greg Scott, Director; Amy Kort, Asst. Director; Myles Martin, Editor