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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Judith Ingram

October 29, 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland

FEC TAKES FINAL ACTION ON FIVE CASES

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission recently made public its final action on five matters under review (MURs). In three matters, the respondents agreed to pay civil fines totaling $25,300. In another matter, the Commission found no reason to believe the respondents had violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act). The Commission dismissed the other matter.

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 5849

RESPONDENTS:

Bank of America Corporation; and Kathleen Cannon and Robert Rubio

COMPLAINANT:

Self-reported

SUBJECT:

Bank of America Corporation disclosed information that, from 1999-2004, it reimbursed federal contributions totaling $10,030 made by employees in its Student Banking and Wholesale Lending Divisions. Kathleen Cannon, Senior Vice President of the Student Banking Division, facilitated the reimbursement of contributions totaling $7,700 by soliciting contributions from Student Banking managers, instructing them to request reimbursement of those contributions from the bank, and then authorizing their reimbursement with bank funds. Student Banking manager Robert Rubio authorized the reimbursement of a contribution made by one of his subordinate employees. Three managers in the Wholesale Lending Division authorized the reimbursement of federal contributions made by four of that division’s employees.

OUTCOME:

The Commission found reason to believe the respondents violated the Act. In a conciliation agreement, Cannon agreed to pay a civil penalty of $15,000 and Bank of America agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,800. The Commission determined to take no further action against Rubio.

MUR 6202

RESPONDENTS:

Missouri Democratic State Committee and Rod Anderson, in his official capacity as treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated

SUBJECT:

In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission found that the Missouri Democratic State Committee and Anderson, in his official capacity as treasurer, made cash disbursements in excess of the $100 per-transaction limit.

OUTCOME:

The Commission found reason to believe the respondents violated the Act. In a conciliation agreement, respondents agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4,500.

MUR 6184

RESPONDENTS:

Skyway Concession Company, LLC (SCC); and Fernando Redondo

COMPLAINANT:

Self-reported

SUBJECT:

Skyway Concession Company disclosed information that it and Redondo, its Chief Executive Officer and a foreign national, may have violated the Act when Redondo authorized use of the company’s domestic revenues for contributions to nonfederal political committees. Under the Act, it is unlawful for a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution in connection with a federal, state or local election.

The report also disclosed that Redondo personally made a direct contribution to a federal candidate that was later reimbursed in full by Skyway. The Act prohibits any person from making a contribution in the name of another or knowingly permitting his or her name to effect such a contribution.

OUTCOME:

The Commission found reason to believe the respondents violated the Act. In a conciliation agreement, respondents agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4,000 and sought the refund of all political contributions the company made to nonfederal political committees. Redondo returned to Skyway the reimbursed amount of his contribution. Additionally, the federal candidate committee to which Redondo contributed refunded his contribution in full.

MUR 6187

RESPONDENTS:

Coleman for Senate ’08 and Rodney Axtell, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Norm Coleman

COMPLAINANT:

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party by its chair, Brian Melendez

SUBJECT:

The complaint alleged that Coleman for Senate ’08 and Axtell, in his official capacity as treasurer, were converting campaign funds to personal use by using them to pay for legal fees regarding a civil lawsuit in Texas.  Commission regulations prohibit the personal use of campaign funds by a candidate. Coleman was a general election candidate in Minnesota’s 2008 Senate race.  Coleman requested an advisory opinion from the Commission regarding the use of campaign funds on this legal action and did not spend any campaign funds on the action prior to receiving a favorable advisory opinion from the Commission. (See AO 2009-12.)

OUTCOME:

Consistent with the advisory opinion the Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the personal use provision of the Act.

MUR 6173

RESPONDENT:

Population Research Institute, Inc.

COMPLAINANT:

Catholics for Choice by its president, Jon O’Brien

SUBJECT:

The complaint alleged that Population Research Institute, Inc. (PRI), a nonprofit corporation, made a prohibited corporate expenditure to support the committee of then-presidential candidate John McCain. The complaint contends that PRI produced and distributed an electronic newsletter that expressly advocated the candidate’s election.

OUTCOME:

The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter due to the low dollar amount at issue.

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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