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For Immediate Release
March 20, 2006
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 three matters previously under review (MURs).  This release contains only disposition information.

1. MUR 5586  
     

RESPONDENTS:

(a) Florida Democratic Party

(b) Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc., David Thorne, treasurer

(c)  DNC Services Corporation/Democratic National    Committee, Andrew Tobias, treasurer

(d) Florida AFL-CIO

(e) Florida Education Association

(f)  Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers

(g) Florida SEIU

(h) Representative Kendrick Meek

(i)  Florida Democratic Victory 2004

COMPLAINANT:

Stephen Shiver, Executive Director of Political Affairs, Republican Party of Florida

SUBJECT:

Federal candidates or officeholders raised, spent  or directed nonfederal funds; excessive contributions; prohibited contributions; coordinated expenditures

DISPOSITION:

(a-h)    No reason to believe* [re: any provision of the Act or regulations]

(i)        Dismiss the complaint*

            The complaint alleged that a planning manual of the “Victory 2004 Florida Coordinated Campaign” is evidence of coordination between respondent political committees and non-committee entities for public communications; raising, spending and directing of nonfederal funds by candidates for federal office, federal officeholders, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) and the DNC; and excessive and prohibited contributions to candidates and party committees. The complainant stated that the “decision making table” of the manual demonstrates that the Democratic Party, Democratic candidates and non-committee entities coordinated their efforts, plans, strategies and spending. The manual also lays out “Vote Goals & Targeting,” which included plans for a paid and volunteer phone calls and paid statewide mailings, paid early voter motivation efforts and absentee voting programs.  The complaint also described some activity as being funded with 100% nonfederal funds, “the exact type of spending that federal candidates and officeholders and national political party officials are now prohibited form being involved in.” The FDP and DNC each responded that the complaint fails to allege specific actions on the part of respondents that would constitute violations of the Act. The FDP and DNC added that the manual is a plan of activities to be undertaken and paid for by the FDP itself, and that the complaint does not refer to any communications, or activity of any kind, that was paid for by any other entity other than the FDP itself. Further, the FDP and DNC both responded that there were never any pages of the manual detailing any “field help” to be provided by any of the entities listed on the signature page. Based on the complaint and review of the responses and public information, the Commission found no reason to believe and closed the file with regard to the respondents. 

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5586 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 5613

RESPONDENTS:

Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee, Brent Anderson, treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Thomas P. Tierney

SUBJECT:

Failure to use funds for federal purposes (contributions); failure to accurately report purpose of disbursements

  DISPOSITION:

No reason to believe* [re: any violation of the Act]

A Republican nominee for the U.S. Representative from the 5th District of Massachusetts in the 2004 general election alleged that the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee failed to make direct campaign contributions to his campaign or other federal candidates’ campaigns, and diverted more than $3 million to non-federal purposes. Also, the complaint alleged that the Respondent failed to itemize disbursements. In response, the Respondent stated the complainant was incorrect in his premise that there is a specialized fund for candidates for the U.S. Congress when in fact it is a general account that can be used for any or all federal purposes. Also, the Act does not require a state party committee to support a specific candidate’s campaign efforts with its funds. The Commission’s review the 2003-2004 reports did not reveal any disbursements that were required to be itemized. The Commision found no reason to believe the Respondent violated the Act and closed the file.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5613 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.

     

4.

MUR 5677

RESPONDENTS:

Hastert for Congress, Dallas Ingemunson, treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

SUBJECT:

Foreign national contributions

DISPOSITION:

No reason to believe*

[re: foreign national contributions]

The complaint alleged that the Hastert for Congress Committee (HFCC) accepted contributions from foreign nationals in 2000 and 2001.  The basis for the allegation is a Vanity Fair article, the focus of which was to expose the alleged retaliation by the FBI against an FBI translator-turned-whistleblower.  The allegations made by the whistler blower referred to a series of wiretap recordings in which foreign nationals allegedly claimed to have made unitemized campaign contributions to HFCC from 1996 to 2002. HFCC responded by affidavit that it never knowingly accepted contributions from foreign nationals and attached a list of all unitemized contributors from 1996 to 2002. Based on the responses the Commission found no reason to believe a violation occurred and closed the file.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5677 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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