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For Immediate Release
May 12, 2006

Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis

CAMPAIGNS CITED FOR FAILURE TO FILE PRE-PRIMARY REPORT

WASHINGTON -- The congressional campaigns of Matt Wertz for Congress and Pennacchio for Pennsylvania were cited by the Federal Election Commission today for failing to file financial disclosure reports as required under the Federal Election Campaign Act (“the Act”). 

Pennsylvania will be holding primary elections on May 16, 2006, to select candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  Provisions of the Act require committees supporting candidates involved in the primary to file reports of their financial activity 12 days before the election.

As of  5 p.m., May 11, 2006, disclosure reports from the following committees had not been filed:

PA/17… MATT WERTZ FOR CONGRESS… ROBERT M. RAMIREZ, TREAS… MATTHEW WERTZ… REP

PA SEN… PENNACCHIO FOR PENNSYLVANIA… GAURANG BHATT, TREAS… CHARLES PENNACCHIO… DEM

The reports are required to include financial activity occurring from April 1 through April 26.  If sent by certified or registered mail, the reports should have been postmarked by May 1. Otherwise, the due date was close-of-business May 4. Mandatory electronic filing requirements for House campaigns became effective as of January 1, 2001. Any committee that receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $50,000 in the current calendar year, or that reasonably expects to do so, must submit its reports electronically. Senate campaigns file paper reports with the Secretary of the Senate.

Some individuals and their committees have no obligation to file reports under federal election law, even though their names may appear on state ballots.  If an individual raises or spends less than $5,000, he or she is not considered a "candidate" subject to reporting under the FECA.

The FEC notified committees involved in the primary of their potential filing requirements on April 10.  Those committees that did not file on the due date were notified on May 5 that reports had not been received and that their names would be published if they did not respond within four business days.

Other political committees supporting House candidates in elections (those which are not authorized units of a candidate's campaign) also are required to file pre-primary reports, unless they report monthly.  Those committee names are not published by the FEC.

Further Commission action against non-filers and late filers falls under the Administrative Fine Program. Political committees and treasurers who fail to file their reports on time may be subject to civil money penalties ranging from $30 to $16,000 (or more for repeat late- and non-filers).

The next regularly scheduled disclosure reports for candidate committees will be the quarterly report due July 15.  It will cover activity from April 27 (for Pennsylvania candidates - April 1 for most others) through June 30.

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