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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Bob Biersack

December 18 , 2008

Mary Brandenberger

   

 

Compliance Cases Made Public

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission recently made public its final action on several previous matters under review (MURs). The Commission collected a total of $97,543 in civil penalties in three matters and dismissed allegations in two matters.

Under the 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 web site 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 web site at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqs/searcheqs.

MUR 5652

RESPONDENTS:

Terrell for Senate (LA) and Justin Schmidt, committee treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

In Matter Under Review (MUR) 5652, following an FEC audit, the Terrell for Senate Committee and Mr. Schmidt admitted to illegally accepting corporate contributions and contributions that exceeded the Act’s limits; failing to report cash on hand; failing to itemize contributions from individuals and PACs; failing to disclose transfers from joint fundraising activity; failing to identify specific contributions from joint fundraising proceeds; failing to disclose the occupation and name of employer of each individual whose contribution exceeded $200 per election cycle; and failing to file 48-hour notices for some contributions of $1,000 or more received within 20 days of the election.

OUTCOME:

In conciliation agreements, the respondents agreed to the following civil penalties:

  • Terrell for Senate and Justin Schmidt as treasurer – $42,543
  • Otto Candies, LLC – $8,000
  • Sammy Joe Russo – $5,000
  • Carthage Partners, LC – $4,500
  • Chaffe, McCall, Phillips, Toler & Sarpy, LLP – $2,500 

Respondents will also refund $627,373.15 to contributors who made excessive or corporate contributions when able to do so.

The Commission also found reason to believe the law was violated but took no further action with regard to twenty-seven other individuals and organizations that made excessive or prohibited contributions.

MUR 5787

RESPONDENTS:

Kalyn Free (OK-2) for Congress, Kalyn Free and Loyce Bell, committee treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

In MUR 5787, which stemmed from an FEC audit of Kalyn Free for Congress, the Commission found reason to believe that the Committee and Ms. Bell used campaign funds to make an overpayment of salary to Ms. Free and failed to properly report expenses made by the candidate.  

OUTCOME:

In a conciliation agreement with the Commission, Kalyn Free for Congress and Loyce Bell, in her official capacity as treasurer, agreed to pay civil penalties of $10,000. Ms. Free agreed to refund the campaign committee $6,906 in advances deducted from the salary overpayment. 

MUR 5936

RESPONDENTS:

TerriPAC (A nonconnected political committee in Florida that made contributions to various federal candidates); Jim Davis for Governor; Danielle Black; On-Time Fundraiser, Inc; Derek Newton; The November Group; Mark Sasser; and Brian Schiavo   

COMPLAINANT:

June Maxam

COMPLAINT/RESPONSE:

The complaint in MUR 5936 alleged various reporting problems and illegal disbursements.

OUTCOME:

The matter was dismissed.

MUR 5953

RESPONDENTS:

Ending Funding for the Iraq War  (CO) and Richard Andrews

COMPLAINANT:

Christine Gardner Gould

SUBJECT:

In MUR 5953, Christine Gardner Gould, a Colorado resident, submitted a complaint against the entity “Ending Funding for the Iraq War.” The complainant alleged she received a letter, as a “Mark Udall Supporter,” urging her to contact U.S. Representative Mark Udall and ask him to vote against funding of the war and order that troops be withdrawn from Iraq. The complainant further alleged that her name and address was taken from FEC contribution records in violation of the Commission’s sale and use prohibitions.

OUTCOME:

The matter was dismissed.

MUR 5961

RESPONDENTS:

DeMint for Senate Committee, Inc. (SC) and Sunny Philips, treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

In MUR 5961, which was initiated through an audit, the FEC found that the DeMint for Senate Committee, Inc. (the Committee) and Sunny Philips, in her official capacity as the committee treasurer, violated reporting and contribution laws of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA, the Act). The Commission found that the Committee accepted 42 contributions from individuals that exceed the Act’s contribution limit, totaling $68,106. In addition, the Committee failed to file 23 48-hour notices for contributions of $1,000 or more totaling $115,272.

OUTCOME:

In a conciliation agreement, the DeMint for Senate Committee, Inc. and Sunny Philips agreed to pay civil penalties of $25,000.

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.

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