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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

October 1, 2010

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
  Mary Brandenberger
   
 

ISSUE 2010-39

                       

Weekly Digest

Week of September 27 – October 1

COMMISSION MEETINGS

No Commission Executive Sessions or Open Meetings were scheduled this week.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Drafts

AO 2010-21 (ReCellular, Inc.). On October 1, the Commission made public a draft of Advisory Opinion 2010-21.ReCellular purchases used cell phones from individual consumers, and currently allows consumers to donate their sale proceeds to charity through the ReCellular website.ReCellular asks whether it may also allow consumers to contribute their sale proceeds to political committees.


Supplement Received

AOR 2010-25 (RG Entertainment). On September 28, the Commission made public a Supplement to Advisory Opinion Request 2010-25. In the request, RG Entertainment, Ltd., Star Parker, Star Parker for Congress, Motive Entertainment, Inc., engage4 LLC, and InService America, Inc. ask whether (1) disbursements in connection with the production, marketing, and distribution of a documentary film and its trailer would be covered by the press exemption or would constitute bona fide commercial activity; (2) payments for the production and distribution of the film would constitute a coordinated communication with Parker, a candidate who appears in the film; (3) public theatrical exhibitions of the film would require disclaimers; and (4) Parker's appearances and licensing activities in conjunction with screenings of the film would be subject to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act) and Commission regulations.

Comment Received

AOR 2010-23 (CTIA - The Wireless Association). On September 24, the Commission received a comment on Advisory Opinion Request 2010-23. In the request, CTIA - The Wireless Association asks whether it may administer Common Short Codes (five- or six-digit numbers) to allow the use of cellular phone text messaging for anonymous contributions to candidates and political committees.

Advisory Opinions and Requests are available here.

ENFORCEMENT

The Commission made public five closed cases. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6273 – Art Robinson for Congress and Noah Edward Robinson, in his official capacity as treasurer; Arthur B. Robinson; Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine; Althouse Press; and Access to Energy. The Commission dismissed the case.

MUR 6281 – McPadden for Congress and Hunter McPadden, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Michael McPadden. The Commission dismissed the case.

MUR 6285 – Dean Black for Congress and Wesley L. Bunce, in his official capacity as treasurer; Power Solutions Electric, Inc.; and TJSR Enterprises, Inc. The Commission dismissed the case.

MUR 6286 – Our Democratic Organization and Jeffrey Bond, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the case.

MUR 6309 – Kansans for Huelskamp and Brian A. Weber, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondent violated the Act.

AUDIT REPORTS

The Commission approved issuance of and made public one Audit Report. A summary of the findings is below.

Oregon Republican Party. The Audit examined reports and statements filed by the party and discovered no significant non-compliance.

General information about final audit reports is here. Audits are broken down into three categories: Authorized Committees, Unauthorized Committees, and Title 26 Audit Reports.

LITIGATION

Beam v. FEC (formerly Beam v. Gonzales). On September 30, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order entering judgment for the Commission following a two-day bench trial in August. The Court rejected plaintiffs' claims under the Right to Financial Privacy Act.

Keating v. Federal Election Commission (SpeechNow.org). On September 27, the Department of Justice filed on behalf of the Commission a Brief for the Respondent in Opposition in the United States Supreme Court. Plaintiffs have challenged the constitutionality of reporting requirements and political committee registration requirements as applied to SpeechNow.org’s proposed activities.

OUTREACH

On September 29, Communications Specialist Zainab Smith met with a delegation of political leaders from the Federal Electoral Court of Mexico and the Mumbai Parliament to discuss campaign finance regulations and the Commission's role in enforcing those regulations.

On September 30, Vice Chair Cynthia Bauerly met with students at the Indiana University Mauer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana. The Vice Chair spoke about her role and duties as a Commissioner.

IT INITIATIVES

On October 1, the Commission launched a new search system for accessing audit reports on its website. The Audit Finding Search System allows users to search all approved audit reports. The results display Commission findings and provide a link to the full audit report.

This week, the Commission added a new presentation to its E-Learning page regarding federal candidate/officeholder participation in nonfederal fundraising. The presentation gives an overview of the rules governing this activity, highlighting recent changes enacted in response to the Shays III litigation.

PRESS RELEASES                                                                       

FEC Takes Final Action On Six Cases (issued September 29)

FEC Announces New Search System for Audits (issued October 1)


UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

October 5: The Commission is scheduled to hold an Executive Session.

October 7: The Commission is scheduled to hold an Open Session. When the Commission releases an agenda, it will be available here.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

October 15:  October Quarterly Reports are due. For information on reporting dates, click here.

October 21:  Pre-General Reports are due. For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

October 6, Washington, DC. FEC Roundtable Workshops on Reporting Requirements, FECFile & E-Filing. Registration information and schedule are here.

October 7, Washington, DC. FEC Roundtable Workshop on FECFile & E-Filing for PACs and Party Committees. Registration information and schedule are here.

November 17, Washington, DC. FEC Roundtable Workshops on Winding Down the Campaign for House and Senate Campaigns. Registration information and schedule are here.

OTHER RESOURCES


The October  issue of The Record is here. Sign up here to receive email notification when a new issue of the Record is posted.

The monthly supplements to the FEC’s Campaign Guides are here.

Sunshine Act Notices for previous Executive Sessions are here. Agendas and related documents for previous Open Meetings are here. Audio recordings for selected previous meetings, hearings and presentations are here.