Week of March 1 – 5
On March 2-3, the Commission held a hearing on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Coordinated Communications and Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Coordinated Communications. The Commission is holding open the comment period until March 17, 2010.
On March 4, the Commission held an open audit hearing on the AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education/Political Contributions Committee.
An audit hearing on The Jefferson Committee (TJC), previously scheduled for March 4, was cancelled as the result of TJC’s withdrawal of its request for a hearing.
The Commission did not hold an Executive Session or Open Meeting 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.
AO 2010-02 (West Virginia Republican Party). On March 5, the Commission made public drafts of Advisory Opinion 2010-02. The West Virginia Republican Party asks whether the provisions of the Act and regulations at 2 U.S.C. 453(b) and 11 CFR 300.35, which allow State and local committees of political parties to use non-Federal funds for the purchase or construction of an office building, subject to State law, would apply to payments on a lease with an option to buy or to payments on a land sales contract for an office building. Comments on the drafts are due by noon on March 10.
AOR 2010-03 (National Democratic Redistricting Trust). On March 3, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2010-03. The National Democratic Redistricting Trust (NDRT) asks whether solicitations by Federal candidates or officeholders for funds to be used by NDRT to finance the litigation costs associated with post-redistricting legal disputes are "in connection with an election." The Commission must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by April 30, 2010.
Advisory Opinions, Requests, Comments and Extensions are available here.
The Commission made public three closed cases this week. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
MUR 6135 – Unknown Respondents. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the case.
MUR 6157 – Ogonowski for Senate and Kathleen Haas Ogonowski, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the case.
MUR 6183 – Bay City Educators Public Affairs Council and Saun L. Strobel, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended.
Unity08 v. FEC. On March 2, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion, reversing the District Court opinion and ruling in favor of Unity08, holding that Unity08 is not subject to regulation as a political committee. Unity08, a group that sought to nominate and elect a bipartisan ticket for President and Vice President in the 2008 elections, challenged a Commission advisory opinion that advised Unity08 that it would have to register as a political committee once it made more than $1,000 in expenditures. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals applied to Unity08 its own previous interpretation of the “major purpose” test from FEC v. Machinists Non-Partisan Political League, 655 F.2d 380 (D.C. Cir. 1981) as "limited to groups who have a 'clearly identified' candidate," and found that Unity08 could not be subject to regulation as a political committee under the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Fieger v. FEC. On February 26, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division issued an Opinion and Order granting the Commission's motion for summary judgment The court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction because the plaintiff was not the party who made the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests at issue, and therefore the plaintiff lacked standing.
RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS
March 1 – Texas Minor Party Pre-Conventions (Districts 7, 16, 18, 20, 29, 30 and 32) Pre-Convention Disclosure reports were due. Click here for information on electronic filing.
March 1 – The Commission posted the filing deadlines for the Special Election in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.
FEC Holds Public Hearing on Coordinated Communications (issued March 4)
March 11: The Commission is scheduled to hold an Open Session.
March 17: The Commission is scheduled to hold an Executive Session.
UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES
March 8: Texas Minor Party Pre-Conventions (Districts 1-6, 8-15, 17, 19, 21-28 and 31) Pre-Convention Disclosure reports are due. Click here for information on electronic filing.
NEXT WEEK (MARCH 8 – 12)
March 9-10, Washington, D.C. Conference for Corporations and their PACs. The conference registration information and agenda are here. Note: The conference is sold out.
March 16, Washington, D.C. FEC hearing on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Federal Officeholders' and Candidates' Participation in Nonfederal Fundraising Events. Comments from the public on this NPRM were due by February 8 and reply comments by February 22. Note: March 16 is the new hearing date, a change from the originally scheduled date of March 10.
March 23-24, New Orleans, LA. The Regional Conference for Campaigns, Party Committees and Corporate/Labor/Trade PACs. This conference was previously scheduled for February 9-10. For more information, click here.
April 7, Washington, Seminar for Nonconnected Committees. The seminar registration information and agenda are here.