HOME / PRESS OFFICE

FEC Home Page

For Immediate Release
September 8, 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 two matters previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition information.

1.

MUR 5506

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Emily’s List, Britt Cocanour, treasurer

(b)   Florida Women Vote! – A Project of Emily’s List

(c)   Campaign for Florida’s Future (FKA Betty Castor for U.S. Senate), William R. Lewis, treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Lori Glasser

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions (in the form of coordinated expenditures)

DISPOSITION:

(a)   No reason to believe*

       [re: excessive contributions (in the form of coordinated    expenditures]

(b)   Dismiss the complaint.

(c)   No reason to believe*

       [re: excessive contributions (in the form of coordinated    expenditures]

            The complainant alleged that Emily’s List and Florida Women Vote! – A Project of Emily’s List made excessive contributions to Betty Castor for U.S. Senate in the form of coordinated television advertisements. The allegations in the complaint stated that the coordination of the television advertising was evidenced by frequent contacts between Emily’s List and the Castor committee, the employment of a former Emily’s List employee by the Castor committee, the withdrawal of television ads by Castor in locations where Emily’s List ads aired, and Castor’s acknowledgement of the help Emily’s List gave to her campaign. The Castor Committee and Emily’s List separately denied that the ads were coordinated despite the frequent contacts between the two committees. Emily’s List acknowledged that it gave support to the Castor campaign, but claimed that its internal policies and procedures ensured that no coordination occurred. Emily’s List explained that Women Vote!, a project within Emily’s List, handles advertising buys, and that employees, volunteers, and consultants who worked on the project were barred, as a matter of policy, from interacting with federal candidates, political party committees, or the agents of the foregoing. The Castor committee stated that it made decisions on placing and pulling ads based on information that television stations are required to make public and not on any communication with or information from Emily’s List. The Commission found no reason to believe that Emily’s List or the Castor committee violated the law. The Commission decided to dismiss the complaint against Florida Women Vote!, because it is not a separate legal entity but a program within Emily’s List.  

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering either 5506 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 5609

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Club for Growth, Inc.

(b)   Committee to Re-Elect Trent Franks for Congress, Lisa    Teschler, treasurer

(c)   Trent Franks

(d)       Bluepoint Consulting

COMPLAINANT:

Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Clean Elections Institute, Inc.

SUBJECT:

Coordinated in-kind expenditures

DISPOSITION:

(a-d)    No reason to believe*

                        The complainant alleged that Club for Growth (CFG) made illegal in-kind coordinated contributions through a common vendor to Trent Franks principal campaign committee. The complaint alleged that CFG and the principal campaign committee of Trent Franks made disbursements in the 2004 election to Christopher Baker and his company, Bluepoint Consulting, a political consulting business. The complaint does not address what type of expenditures or activities may have been coordinated, speculating that the fees paid by both entities indicate a likelihood that coordination occurred.  CFG and Bluepoint responded that the complaint failed to specify any facts as to what communications or type of expenditure were coordinated, but in affidavits provided sufficient facts to rebut the allegations. Trent Franks and his committee filed a response that confirmed that Bluepoint Consulting provided services to the Committee and while they did not provide any facts relevant to the rebuttal of the coordination allegations, they characterized such claims as “baseless” and completely false. The Commission found no reason to believe that the respondents violated the Act in this matter.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering either 5609 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.

# # #