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For Immediate Release
February 28, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
COMPLIANCE CASES MADE PUBLIC
 

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

1. MUR 5381  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Rob Bishop for Congress (UT), Christopher L. Brown,      treasurer

(b)   Rob Bishop (UT)

(c)   Utah League of Credit Unions

(d)  America First Credit Union

(e)   Tooele Federal Credit Union

(f)    Deseret First Credit Union

(g)   Mountain America Credit Union

(h)   Horizon Credit Union

(i)    Goldenwest Credit Union

(j)    Box Elder County Credit Union

(k)       USU Community Credit Union
  COMPLAINANT:

Seldon O. Young

  SUBJECT: Failure to accurately report costs of membership communications; loan made outside the ordinary course of business (in the form of a signature line of credit); credit union contributions (in the form of direct mailings, recorded messages and polling, and neighborhood canvassing)
  DISPOSITION:

(a-k)  No reason to believe*             The complainant alleged that the Utah League of Credit Unions (ULCU) and its eight member credit unions violated the law by failing to properly report disbursements for communications and by improperly granting a loan to Mr. Bishop. The complaint also states that the ULCU and its member credit unions expressly advocated the election of Mr. Bishop through a newsletter, direct mailings, recorded messages and polling, and neighborhood canvassing. The Act did not require ULCU to report the costs associated with the newsletter, and qualified as a membership communication, which primarily addressed nonfederal election matters. The costs associated with the telephone polling and the neighborhood canvassing were also not required to be reported under the Act because the telephone poll did not constitute express advocacy and the canvassing was unreimbursed volunteer activity. Based on vendor invoices, the Respondents accurately reported all expenditures associated with direct mailings and recorded telephone messages that advocated voting for Mr. Bishop. The loan documentation submitted by the credit union indicates the terms of the loan were not unduly favorable to Mr. Bishop and the credit union followed customary practices and procedures when it approved the loan.  Therefore, the Commission found no reason to believe that any violations occurred with regard to this matter.

  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 5381 under case number. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     
2. MUR 5522  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc.

  COMPLAINANT:

Campaign Legal Center

  SUBJECT: Corporate contributions; endorsement of federal candidate outside the corporation’s restricted class; electioneering communications by corporation directed to members outside their restricted class
  DISPOSITION:

Reason to believe, but took no further action*

[re: corporate contribution; endorsement of federal candidate outside the corporation’s restricted class]

Sent admonishment letter.

No reason to believe*

[re: electioneering communications by corporation directed to members outside their restricted class]

            The complaint alleged that Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL), Inc., violated the law by endorsing President George W. Bush on its website. The complaint also state that the photograph of President Bush on the website that linked to a list of endorsed candidates violated the law which allows limited corporate endorsements and prohibits electioneering communications by the corporations to those outside the restricted class because it was within 30 days of the Republican National Convention. The Commission found reason to believe that WRTL violated the law because endorsements posted on its website were communicated outside the corporation’s restricted class, but took no further action and sent an admonishment letter. The Commission found no reason to believe with regard to the electioneering communication by WRTL, since a communication over the Internet does not fall within the statutory definition of an electioneering communication under the law.
  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 5522 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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