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For Immediate Release                                                                                Contact:  George Smaragdis
March 21, 2007                                                                                                          Michelle Ryan
                                                                                                                                   

Federal Election Commission

March 21, 2007

ATTENTION WIRE SERVICES, DAYBOOK EDITORS:

FEC OPEN MEETING THURSDAY MARCH 22

The Federal Election Commission (the Commission/FEC) will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, March, 22, 2007  to consider the Final Audit Reports of Bush/Cheney ’04 and Clark for President, an Advisory Opinion Request from Senator Claire McCaskill, draft final rules on presenting a “best efforts” defense in Administrative Fine challenges, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comments on revisions to the Commission’s “Standards of Conduct,” and policy statements on self-reported campaign finance violations and steps committees can take to reduce the likelihood of embezzlement.

The Commission will consider two Final Audit Reports from the 2004 Presidential election, Bush/Cheney ’04 and Clark for President.  Federal law requires the FEC to audit every Presidential campaign that receives public funds.  A draft of the Bush/Cheney ’04 audit can be found at http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2007/mtgdoc07-22.pdf , while the Clark for President draft audit is located at http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2007/mtgdoc07-23.pdf .

Senator Claire McCaskill requested an Advisory Opinion (AO) regarding the impact of Federal election law on her ability to raise funds to retire campaign debt remaining from past state elections.  The AO request, along with any comments received prior to the meeting, can be found at http://saos.fec.gov/saos/searchao?SUBMIT=pending .  The draft AO to be considered by the Commission is located at http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2007/mtgdoc07-19.pdf .

The FEC will consider draft Final Rules that, if adopted, would revise the Commission’s Administrative Fine program to permit committees’ to present a “best efforts” defense when challenging an administrative fine.  The draft Final Rules can be found at http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2007/mtgdoc07-24.pdf .  Additionally, the Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the Commission’s “Standards of Conduct” (i.e., ethics regulations) that are designed to conform to those issued by the Office of Governmental Ethics and the Office of Personnel Management.

Also on the agenda are two proposed policy statements.  One presents a proposal designed to encourage the self-reporting of campaign finance violations, or sua sponte submissions, in which an organization informs the FEC of its own campaign finance violation.  The second proposal recommends steps that committees can voluntarily take to reduce the likelihood of embezzlement, and which may protect them from Commission findings of liability in the event that the embezzlement inadvertently causes them to violate the campaign finance law.  Drafts of the proposed policy statements can be found at http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2007/agenda20070322.shtml .

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in the 9th floor hearing room at the Commission's offices at 999 E Street N.W. in Washington.

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