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For Immediate Release
October 7, 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 5523

RESPONDENTS:

Local 12, United Association Plumbers & Gasfitters Bldg. Corp.

COMPLAINANT:

Campaign Legal Center

SUBJECT:

Union contribution; express advocacy; disclaimer

DISPOSITION:

Dismiss the matter

The complainant alleged that the respondent advocated the election of presidential candidate John Kerry and solicited contributions for his campaign from the general public through its website.  The complaint also claimed that the web-based solicitation failed to include a disclaimer. Plumbers Local 12 does not deny any of the allegations in the complaint. Respondent admits that its website is open to the public, but it asserts that it is primarily used by its members to keep abreast of union activities. The FEC concluded that the website’s relatively small amount of traffic and the prompt removal of the material in question suggest that the impact of the apparent violation was minimal and the expenditures associated with the express advocacy and solicitation were negligible. The Commission, as a matter of prosecutorial discretion dismissed this matter and closed the file. Statements of Reasons were issued by Chairman Thomas, Vice Chairman Toner and Commissioners Mason, McDonald 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 5523 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 5580

RESPONDENTS:

Alaska Democratic Party, Marge Kaiser, treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Timothy A. McKeever

SUBJECT:

Disclaimer

DISPOSITION:

Reason to believe, but took no further action*

Sent admonishment letter.

The complaint alleged that the Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) violated the law by failing to include a disclaimer notice on a partisan mailing paid for by the Committee and mailed to registered voters in Alaska. The ADP did not deny its failure to include the required disclaimer notice on the mailers, but cited the fact that the disclaimer omission was the sole result of vendor error and that the letter’s heading and return envelope make it clear that the letter was being disseminated by the Committee. The mail firm confirmed that they had inadvertently deleted the disclaimer and did not notice the deletion until they were notified of the complaint. The Commission found reason to believe that the Committee violated the law, but decided to take no further action because the failure to include a disclaimer was an inadvertent omission by the vendor. The Commission sent an admonishment letter to the Committee.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5580 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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