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For Immediate Release
December 21, 2004
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
COMPLIANCE CASE MADE PUBLIC
 

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has recently made public its final action on a three matters previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition information.

1. MUR 5103  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Anthony “Todd” Banasack

(b)   Acacia National Mortgage Corporation

(c)   Gerald Yohanaie, President, Acacia National Mortgage   Corporation

(d)   j2 Global Communications, Inc.
  COMPLAINANT:

Jasen Hutchinson, Friends of Susan Bitter Smith

  SUBJECT: Disclaimers; Fraudulent misrepresentation in campaign materials
  DISPOSITION:

(a)   Reason to believe, but took no further action*

  [re: disclaimers]

  Failed to pass a motion to find reason to believe*

  [re: fraudulent misrepresentation in campaign   materials]

(b-d)   No reason to believe*

  [re: disclaimers]

  In MUR 5103, the complaint alleged that fraudulent facsimile transmissions and telephone calls were made to the residents and businesses of the First Congressional District of Arizona attacking Susan Bitter Smith, a congressional candidate, and using her name to attack another candidate, Jeff Flake, between August 6, 2000 and the Arizona primary election on September 12, 2000 . The faxes and telephone calls did not include disclaimers. The respondents named in this report were subsequently notified accordingly.

  Based upon the responses received from the respondents, the Commission found reason to believe that Anthony “Todd” Banasack violated the law by failing to include a disclaimer in the communications. Considering the minimal costs and resources associated with the faxes, the lack of evidence of involvement of a federal candidate or committee, and the level of additional resources that would be required to continue pursuing this respondent, the Commission decided to take no further action against Mr. Banasack. The Commission found no reason to believe against the other respondents and closed the file.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission's web site at http://eqs.sdrdc.com/eqs/searcheqs by entering 5103 under case number. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     
2. MUR 5349  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) House   Caucus, Joe Atkins, treasurer

(b)   Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, Paul   Schulte, treasurer

(c)   Vance K. Opperman

(d)   Gerald K. Seck
  COMPLAINANT:

Republican Party of Minnesota

  SUBJECT: Failure to file disclosure reports timely; excessive contributions; improper transfers of non-federal funds to federal account; excessive contribution in the form of transfers between non-affliated committees
  DISPOSITION:

(a)   Conciliation Agreement: $45,000 civil penalty

  [re: failure to file disclosure reports timely; excessive   contribution; improper transfers of non-federal funds to   federal account]

(b)   Reason to believe, but take no further action*

  [re: excessive contributions]

  Sent admonishment letter.

(a-b)   No reason to believe*

  [re: transfers between non-affliated committees)

(c-d)   Reason to believe, but took no further action*

  [re: excessive contributions]

  Sent admonishment letters.

  The commission determined that the Minnesota DFL House Caucus committee violated the Act by failing to timely file disclosure reports in 2002. The Caucus also violated the law by receiving an excessive contribution from one contributor in 2002. Finally, the Caucus violated the Act by making a series of impermissible transfers from its non-federal account to its federal account. The Commission found no reason to believe that the Caucus and the Party violated the Act with regard to transfers between the two committees. The Commission found reason to believe the Party committee violated the Act by receiving excessive contributions but decided to take no further action and send an admonishment letter. The Commission found reason to believe against two individuals for making excessive contributions but decided to take no further action and send admonishment letters.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission's web site at http://eqs.sdrdc.com/eqs/searcheqs by entering 5349 under case number. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     
1. MUR 5416  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Wayne Christian for Congress, David Chadwick   treasurer

(b)   Wayne Christian
  COMPLAINANT:

Kyle E. Stephens, Jr.

  SUBJECT: Use of non-federal (state) funds for a federal election; candidate loan from other than personal funds
  DISPOSITION:

(a-b)   No reason to believe*

  [re: use of non-federal (state) funds for a federal   election; candidate loan from other than personal   funds]

  In MUR 5416, the complaint alleged that Wayne Christian, a candidate for Congress in 2004, or his principal campaign committee improperly used funds and assets from Christian's state campaign committee and his state office account to benefit his federal race. In addition the complaint alleged that Christian made an improper loan to the Committee. The Commission found no reason to believe Wayne Christian or his principal campaign committee violated the law by using non-federal (state) funds for his federal election or made an improper loan to the campaign committee.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission's web site at http://eqs.sdrdc.com/eqs/searcheqs by entering under case number. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:

1. Receipt of proper complaint 3. "Probable cause" stage
2. "Reason to believe" stage 4. Conciliation stage

It requires the votes of at least four of the six Commissioners to take any action. The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint. If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent.

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