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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2009

Contact: Judith Ingram
Mary Brandenberger
Christian Hilland
Julia Queen

ISSUE 2009-31

Weekly Digest

Week of December 7 – 11

COMMISSION MEETINGS

The Commission did not hold Open or Executive Sessions this week. Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions are here. Agendas and related documents for Open Meetings are here.

Audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations are here.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Drafts

AOR 2009-28 (Democracy Engine, Inc. PAC). On December 11, the Commission made public a draft for Advisory Opinion Request 2009-28 (Democracy Engine, Inc. PAC). The Committee requests an advisory opinion on whether the separate segregated fund (SSF) of Democracy Engine, Inc. can solicit the general public for earmarked contributions to candidates passed through the SSF and whether the solicitation cost involved would constitute contributions from the SSF to the recipient candidates.

Advisory Opinions, Requests, Comments and Extensions are available here.

ENFORCEMENT

The Commission made public one closed case this week. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 5903 – PBS&J Corporation; William S. DeLoach; Richard A. Wickett; H. Michael Dye; Maria M. Garcia; Rosario Licata; Shannan Ighodaro; Sybil Thomas; Lourdes Fernandez; Reinaldo Fernandez; Ana Quinones; Victor Quinones; James Breland; Larry Boatman, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission closed the case.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public 7 Administrative Fine cases this week.

AF 1961 – Best PAC and Guillermo Cintron as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $500.

AF 2066 – Greg Davis for Congress and Charles F. Roberts III as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $250.

AF 2071 – Knight for US Senate and Franklin Randolph Knight, Jr. as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $312.

AF 2073 – Lotz for Congess and Lynne L. Lotz as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $900.

AF 2095 – Lankford for Congress Committee and Cynthia E. Gray as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $300.

AF 2099 – Vic Vickers for US Senate and Cherry Strickland as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $900.

AF 2100 – Zeitz for Congress and Jean Ann Holtz as Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $250.

LITIGATION

Schonberg v. FEC.  On December 3, plaintiffs filed a complaint against the FEC and certain Members of Congress and also requested an emergency injunction and an emergency three-judge court. The plaintiffs alleged that portions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), that permit Members of Congress to lead campaign committees are unconstitutional because they violate the Emoluments Clause, which states that Members can't hold other federal offices while in Congress. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied the plaintiffs' requests for emergency relief.

On December 9, plaintiffs filed an emergency motion seeking recusal of the judge who had denied emergency relief and withdrawal of the Court's prior order. On the same day, the judge recused himself, directed the clerk to assign the case to a new judge, and stated that the motion to withdraw the prior order should be called to the attention of the newly assigned judge. On December 10, the clerk reassigned the case to a new judge.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

On December 7, the Commission published the Final Rules on Campaign Travel in the Federal Register.

On December 7, the Commission published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Federal Officeholders' and Candidates' Participation in Nonfederal Fundraising Events in the Federal Register. Comments from the public on this NPRM are due on or before February 8. The reply comments will be due on or before February 22. The Commission will hold a hearing on March 10, 2010.

OUTREACH

Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen, Commissioner Ellen Weintraub and several senior FEC staff members addressed the annual conference of the Council of Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Dec 6-9 in Scottsdale, Arizona. COGEL is a professional organization for government agencies, organizations, and individuals with responsibilities in governmental ethics, elections, campaign finance, lobbying laws and freedom of information. At the conference, Patricia Young, Assistant Deputy Staff Director for Disclosure, received the COGEL Outstanding Service Award.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Takes Final Action on Four Cases (issued December 10)

NEXT WEEK (DECEMBER 14 – 18, 2009)

December 15:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an Executive Session

December 16: The Commission will hold a public hearing on its proposed rulemaking concerning the definition of Federal Election Activity, part of the implementation of the Appeals Court decision in Shays v. FEC (Shays III).

December 17:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an Open Session.

UPCOMING EVENTS

January 20 – FEC Campaign Finance Law Roundtable Workshop. The schedule is here.

February 9-10, New Orleans, LA – Regional Conference for Campaigns, Party Committees and Corporate/Labor/Trade PACs. The schedule is here.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

December 20: Disclosure reports for monthly filers are due. Click here for information on electronic filing.

January 7: Massachusetts Special Senate Pre-General Reports due. For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

January 21: Florida 19th District Pre-Primary Reports due.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.