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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Judith Ingram

May 15 , 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland

 

 

 

FEC TAKES FINAL ACTION ON SIX CASES

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission recently made public its final action on six matters under review (MURs). In one matter, the Commission found reason to believe a violation occurred and entered into a conciliation agreement in which the respondents agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000. In another matter, the Commission dismissed the case concerning two respondents and closed the file concerning the other two respondents. In three cases, the Commission found no reason to believe a violation had occurred. In the final matter, it sent a letter of caution and took no further action.

Under the law, the FEC must attempt to resolve its enforcement cases, or MURs, through a confidential investigative process that may lead to a negotiated conciliation agreement between the Commission and the individual or group.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 5862

RESPONDENTS:

Friends of Joe Lieberman and Lynn Fusco as Treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Thomas Swan

SUBJECT:

The complaint alleged that Friends of Joe Lieberman and Fusco, in her official capacity as treasurer, violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), by spending more than $387,000 in cash payments that each exceeded the $100 limit allowed for petty cash disbursements. The complaint also alleged that the Committee and treasurer failed to disclose disbursements among these payments that were greater than $200. The complaint alleged further that the Committee and treasurer failed to maintain a written record detailing all disbursements made through this fund.

OUTCOME:

The Commission found reason to believe the respondents violated the Act. In a conciliation agreement, Friends of Joe Lieberman agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 and amend its campaign finance reports.

   

MUR 5835

RESPONDENTS:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Brian Wolff as Treasurer; Boswell for Congress and Carl McGuire as Treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated

SUBJECT:

In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission became aware that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Wolff, in his official capacity as treasurer, and Boswell for Congress and McGuire, in his official capacity as treasurer, may have violated the Act. The issue involved whether two telephone polls, coordinated with Boswell for Congress, required a disclaimer stating who paid for the calls and whether they were authorized by a candidate or candidate’s committee because each poll constituted more than 500 calls of a substantially similar nature.   

OUTCOME:

In 2007, the Commission sent a letter of admonishment to Boswell for Congress and Carl McGuire, in his official capacity as treasurer for failing to include disclaimers on the calls and as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, the Commission dismissed the matter.  On February 10, 2009, the Commission closed the file with respect to the DCCC and Wolff, in his official capacity as treasurer.

   

MUR 6073

RESPONDENTS:

Patriot Majority; Patriot Majority West; Patriot Majority Midwest; Patriot Majority New Mexico; and Craig Varoga

COMPLAINANT:

National Republican Congressional Committee

SUBJECT:

The complaint alleged that the four Committees, all registered with the Internal Revenue Service as political organizations under Section 527, and Varoga, who held executive positions in all of them, failed to register with the Commission as political committees and subsequently failed to file disclosure reports with the FEC. The complaint alleged further that the Committees exceeded contribution limits and accepted prohibited contributions from labor organizations.

OUTCOME:

The Commission found no reason to believe that the respondents violated the Act as there was no information indicating that any of the Committees had exceeded the threshold expenditure or contribution limits to reach political committee status.

   

MUR 6080

RESPONDENTS:

Clarion Fund, Inc.; Aish HaTorah International

COMPLAINANT:

Council on American-Islamic Relations

SUBJECT:

The complaint alleged that the Clarion Fund, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, made contributions and expenditures in connection with a federal election by distributing DVDs designed to benefit then-Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. The complaint further alleged Clarion Fund, Inc., may have used prohibited foreign contributions from Aish HaTorah International, an Israeli-based non-profit corporation, in connection with a federal election. 

OUTCOME:

The Commission found no reason to believe Respondents violated the Act, because the DVD failed to identify a federal candidate, lacked express advocacy, and there was no evidence the DVD was distributed in connection with a federal election. 

MUR 5981

RESPONDENTS:

Jared Polis; Friends of Jared Polis and Debbie K. Marquez as Treasurer

COMPLAINANTS

Will Shafroth

SUBJECT:

The complaint alleged that Polis (a candidate in Colorado’s Second Congressional District), Friends of Jared Polis and Marquez, in her official capacity as treasurer, violated the Act by failing to disclose employer and occupation information for contributors who gave more than $200 in the election cycle, as required by the Act and Commission regulations. The complaint further alleged a failure to report accurately in-kind contributions from the candidate.

OUTCOME

The Commission found no reason to believe Respondents violated the Act because the Respondents met the “best efforts” provisions of the Commission’s regulations in its attempts to obtain contributor information. 

   

MUR 5920

RESPONDENTS:

Monica J. Cash; Women’s Campaign Fund and Allison Thompson as treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated

SUBJECT:

In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission learned of a fraud investigation against a former office manager for the Women’s Campaign Fund (WCF), Monica J. Cash. The Commission found reason to believe Cash knowingly and willfully commingled WCF funds with her personal funds.  Cash entered into a conciliation agreement with the Commission prohibiting her from working or volunteering for federal political committees in a capacity involving committee finances for five years. The Commission waived a civil penalty in light of Cash’s financial condition. The Commission found reason to believe that WCF and Thompson, in her official capacity as treasurer, failed to accurately account for and report cash-on-hand balances and disbursements in the Committee’s disclosure reports.

OUTCOME:

The Commission sent a letter of caution to WCF and its treasurer regarding the Act’s reporting requirements and advising them to take steps to ensure that WCF’s conduct complies with the Act and Commission regulations. The Commission took no further action.

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 of Representatives, 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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