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For Immediate Release
August 11, 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 three matters previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition information.

1.

MUR 5491

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   The Liberty Alliance, Inc.

(b)   Jerry Falwell Ministries, Inc.

COMPLAINANT:

Campaign Legal Center

SUBJECT:

Corporate contribution; disclaimer

DISPOSITION:

(a)   Took no action

       [re: corporate contribution]

       No reason to believe*

       [re: disclaimer]

(b)   Took no action*

            The complaint alleged that the respondents violated the law by posting on their website and circulating on the Internet, a communication that expressly advocated the election of a federal candidate, which also contained a solicitation for contributions to a multicandidate committee with which they were not affiliated. It also failed to include a disclaimer. In response to the complaint, the counsel for Respondents asserted that Liberty Alliance and not Jerry Falwell Ministries was responsible for the website and communication and further asserted that the communication was not a prohibited corporate expenditure because the communications qualified for the press exemption and that  Liberty Alliance met the requirements for the “qualified nonprofit corporation” (QNC)status. Based on the available information, Liberty Alliance was most likely the party that paid the costs associated with the website and communication and there was a very good chance that it qualified for QNC status in the Fourth Circuit where it has its principal place of business. The Commission did not reach the issue of whether the press exemption applies. The Commission is also currently considering a rulemaking regarding the extent to which an Internet communication such as the one at issue here ought to be regulated. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion to dismiss the case. Statements of Reasons were issued by Chairman Thomas, Vice Chairman Toner and Commissioners Mason, McDonald, Smith and Weintraub.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering either 5491 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

 

 

2.

MUR 5559

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Stephen Adams

(b)   AOA Holding LLC

(c)   Adams Outdoor Advertising LP

(d)   Adams Outdoor Advertising, Inc.

COMPLAINANT:

Dennis Baylor

SUBJECT:

Corporate contributions, excessive contributions

DISPOSITION:

(a)      No reason to believe*

          [re: corporate contributions; excessive contributions]

(b-d)  No reason to believe*

          [re: corporate contributions]

         The complaint alleged that Stephen Adams did not personally pay for advertising expressly advocating the re-election of President Bush that appeared on billboards owned or leased by entities affiliated with Stephen Adams. Based upon available information, which included sworn affidavits, it appears that AOA charged Adams its “usual and normal” rates and that Adams used only his personal funds for the advertising campaign. The Commission found no reason to believe that any of the respondents violated the Act.

           

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering either 5559 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

3.

MUR 5647

RESPONDENTS:

Virginia Foxx for Congress (NC/05), Carolyn Aldridge, treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to report expenditure

DISPOSITION:

Conciliation Agreement: $17,000 civil penalty*

[re: failure to report expenditure]

              This compliance matter was generated by the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division referral to the General Counsel’s Office for the Committee’s failure to disclose a significant operating expenditure on its 2004 12 Day Pre-Primary Report.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering either 5647 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s 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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