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For Immediate Release                                                                               Contact: Bob Biersack
July 13, 2007                                                                                                         George Smaragdis
                                                                                                                              Michelle Ryan

FEC COMPLETES FIVE ENFORCEMENT MATTERS, COLLECTS $21,750 IN CIVIL PENALTIES

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission) recently completed action on five enforcement matters, collecting $21,750 in penalties.

In MUR 5760, the West Virginia Democratic Executive Committee agreed to pay a $21,750 civil penalty for failing to disclose  financial activity on its 2004 12 Day Pre-General and 30 Day Post-General Election Reports.

In MUR 5556, the Commission sent a Letter of Admonishment to Porter for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2004 Congressional candidate Steven Porter (PA/06), for failing to include adequate disclaimers in a series of radio advertisements.

In MUR 5518, the Commission dismissed allegations that the Democratic Party of Hawaii (DPH) failed to file timely reports with the Commission.  The complaint alleged DPH was required to file monthly instead of quarterly reports.

In MUR 5790, the Commission sent a Letter of Admonishment to Robert P. Corker, a 2006 Senate candidate, and dismissed allegations that he failed to file reports required under the Act for self-financed candidates.  Additionally, the Commission found no reason to believe the candidate’s principal campaign committee, Corker for Senate, violated the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (the Act’s) reporting requirements.

In MUR 5583, the Commission took no further action regarding allegations that unknown respondents violated the Act.  The complaint centered on allegations that a mass mailing  in October of 2004, expressly advocating the election or defeat of a Federal candidate, failed to comply with the Act’s disclaimer requirements, contribution source prohibitions and independent expenditure reporting requirements.

By law, the FEC must attempt to resolve its enforcement cases or Matters Under Review (MURs) through a confidential investigative process that may lead to a negotiated conciliation agreement between the Commission and the individual or group the Commission determines has violated the law.  Additional information regarding MURs can be found on the FEC website at http://www.fec.gov/em/mur.shtml.

This release contains only summary information.  For additional details, please consult publicly available documents for each case in the Enforcement Query System (EQS) on the FEC website at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqs/searcheqs .

1.

MURs 5760

RESPONDENTS:

West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee and Brian Kastick, in his official capacity as Treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (Reports Analysis Division)

SUBJECT:

Failure to disclose all financial activity

DISPOSITION:

Conciliation agreement: $21,750 civil penalty

The matter was referred by the Reports Analysis Division after the West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee  amended its 12 Day Pre-General and 30 Day Post-General Reports to disclose additional disbursements.

Amended reports submitted by the Committee reflected an additional $93,178 in disbursements for the Pre-General Report and an increase of $131,998 in disbursements from the Post-General report.  The Committee contended it inadvertently failed to disclose all disbursements due to an unprecedented level of activity and the unexpected departure of its key compliance officer.

Respondents agreed to pay a civil penalty and cease and desist from making future similar violations.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5760 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

2.

MURs 5556

RESPONDENTS:

Porter for Congress and Edward G. Plonski, in his official capacity as Treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

John F. Mizner

SUBJECT:

Failure to include adequate disclaimers

DISPOSITION:

Admonish and take no further action.

The complaint alleged Porter for Congress, the principal campaign committee for 2004 Congressional candidate Steven Porter (PA/04) failed to include adequate disclaimers on a radio ad produced by the Committee that aired shortly before the 2004 election.

The ads at issue aired 127 times on seven radio stations in Western Pennsylvania from September 27, 2004 through October 1, 2004.  According to FEC disclosure reports, the Committee made disbursements in September of 2004 to Vic Rubenstein Associates, the vendor that produced the ad.  The candidate closed the radio ad by identifying himself and endorsing the message, but no disclaimer was included to indicate who paid for the ad, as required by the Act.

The Commission found reason to believe the respondent violated the Act by failing to include a disclaimer stating who paid for the communication, admonished the Committee and took no further action. 

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5556 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

3.

MURs 5518

RESPONDENTS:

Democratic Party of Hawaii and Lynn Matusow, in her official capacity as Treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Doug Fairhurst

SUBJECT:

Failure to file timely reports

DISPOSITION:

Dismiss the matter

The complaint alleged the Democratic Party of Hawaii engaged in Federal Election Activity sufficient to trigger monthly disclosure report obligations when it sent invitations to Democratic Party members announcing its statewide precinct meeting in 2004. The cost of the mailing was $2,572.

The Commission dismissed the matter and took no further action because the amount of financial activity was small.

Statements of Reasons were issued by Chairman Lenhard, Vice Chairman Mason, and Commissioner Walther at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocs/00005D31.pdf , and Commissioner von Spakovsky and Commissioner Weintraub at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqsdocs/00005CEA.pdf .

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5518 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

4.

MURs 5790

RESPONDENTS:

(a) Robert P. Corker, Jr.

(b) Bob Corker for Senate and Kim Kaegi, in her official capacity as Treasurer.

COMPLAINANT:

Robert D. Tuke

SUBJECT:

Failure to file a Notice of Expenditure from Personal Funds

DISPOSITION:

(a-b) Dismiss and admonish and no reason to believe.

Under the Millionaires’s Amendment, part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, a Senate candidate or his or her principal campaign committee must notify the Commission, Secretary of Senate and opposing candidates when the candidate makes expenditures from personal funds exceeding two times the threshold amount.  The complaint alleged Robert P. Corker, a 2006 U.S. Senate candidate in Tennessee, failed to timely file two 24 Hour notices of Expenditures of Personal Funds (Form 10s) for loans from his personal funds to his campaign committee, Bob Corker for Senate.  It also alleged the Committee did not timely file 48 hour notices for 42 other contributions from other persons totaling $61,000.

The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion to dismiss with admonition the allegations pertaining to the late filing of the initial Form 10 and three 48 hour notices for contributions from other persons totaling $33,700.  The Commission found no reason to believe Coker or his Committee failed to timely file a subsequent Form 10 and 48 hour notices for two candidate loans 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 5790 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

5.

MURs 5583

RESPONDENTS:

(a) Unknown Respondents also known as someone who loves Jesus and friends of swlJ

(b) www.formarriage.org

(c) Christian Interactive Network

COMPLAINANT:

South Dakota Republican Party

SUBJECT:

Failure to provide adequate disclaimers, failure to comply with contribution source prohibitions, failure to report independent expenditures properly

DISPOSITION:

(a) Take no further action

(b,c) No reason to believe

The complaint alleged a mailing in October of 2004 reportedly exceeding 1,000 pieces expressly advocating the election or defeat of Senator Tom Daschle (SD) sent to Churches across South Dakota violated several provisions of the Act, including disclaimer requirements, contribution source prohibitions and independent expenditure reporting requirements. 

The mail included a two-sided flyer, sticker and envelope.  The flyer expressly advocated either the election or defeat of Senator Daschle, expressed support for several bills and indicated that the cost of the mailing, including materials and postage was $1.62, bringing the total amount of the mailing to at least $1,062.  The sticker referenced www.formarriage.org and included a disclaimer indicating that it was paid for by “someone who loves Jesus and friends of swlJ” and not authorized by any candidate.

The Commission determined unknown respondents violated the Act, but took no further action.  Additionally, the Commission found no reason to believe www.formarriage.org and Christian Interactive Network violated the Act or the Commission’s regulations, and closed the file as to these respondents.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5583 under case numbers 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
2. Reason to believe stage
3. Probable cause stage
4. Conciliation stage

FEC decisions require the votes of at least four of its six Commissioners.

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.

**The Enforcement Priority System (EPS) rates all incoming cases against objective criteria to determine whether they warrant use of the Commission’s limited resources.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.