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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

May 20, 2011

Julia Queen
  Mary Brandenberger
 
   
 

ISSUE 2011-20

Weekly Digest

Week of May 16 – 20

COMMISSION MEETINGS

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

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Drafts

AO 2011-07 (Chuck Fleischmann for Congress).  On May 20, the Commission made public two drafts of Advisory Opinion 2011-07. Chuck Fleischmann for Congress, Inc., the principal campaign committee of Representative Chuck Fleischmann, asks whether it can use campaign funds to pay for litigation expenses of a campaign consultant. Comments on the draft are due by noon on May 25, 2010.

Requests Received

AOR 2011-11 (Colbert).On May 17, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2011-11. Stephen Colbert proposes to establish an "independent expenditure-only political committee" and asks if the value of resources provided to the proposed political committee by U.S. subsidiaries of Viacom, Inc. would be covered by the media exemption. The Commission must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, or by July 12. On May 13, the Commission received a comment regarding the request.

Comments Received

AOR 2011-09 (Facebook). On May 17, the Commission received a comment on Advisory Opinion Request 2011-09.  Facebook asks whether its small, character-limited ads qualify for the "small items" or "impracticable" exceptions from the disclaimer requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act) and Commission regulations.

Supplement Received

AOR 2011-06 (Democracy Engine). On May 20, the Commission made public a supplement to Advisory Opinion Request 2011-06. The request was submitted on behalf of Democracy Engine LLC (the vendor), Democracy Engine Inc., PAC (the PAC), and two individuals who are members of the restricted class of the PAC's connected organization, Democracy Engine, Inc.  Democracy Engine LLC is the sole stockholder of Democracy Engine, Inc., the PAC's connected organization. The vendor provides web-based payment services for clients that wish to make contributions and donations to the PAC, as well as other Federal political committees and other non-political entities. Under the system outlined in the request, the two individuals will pay a convenience fee to the vendor for using its services to make contributions to political committees.  The request asks whether the vendor's actions would constitute an impermissible corporate contribution to political committees; whether the individuals' payment of the convenience fee would constitute a contribution by the individuals to political committees; and, if so, how political committees should report the payment of the convenience fee by the individuals to the Commission.

Advisory Opinions and Requests are available through the Advisory Opinions search page in the Law and Regulations section of the FEC website.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Commission made public one campaign finance enforcement matter that was resolved through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.

ADR 567 – Hillary Clinton for President and Shelly R. Moskwa, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the matter.

For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

AUDITS

The Audits for the 1980 Election Cycle have been added to the FEC website under the Title 26 Audit Reports and Unauthorized Committees categories. Also refer to the website for general information about final Audit Reports. Audits are broken down into three categories: Authorized Committees, Unauthorized Committees, and Title 26 Audit Reports.

LITIGATION

Libertarian National Committee, Inc. (LNC) v. Federal Election Commission (No. 11-cv-562). On May 17, the plaintiff filed a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Motion for a More Definite Statement in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

OUTREACH

On May 17, Communications Specialist Isaac Baker discussed the American electoral system and the FEC's role in campaign finance regulation with political leaders representing West African countries.

RULEMAKINGS AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

Agency Procedure for Disclosure of Documents and Information in the Enforcement Process. Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement Seeking Public Comment on the Commission’s Proposed Procedures for Disclosure of Documents in the Enforcement Process.  

CONFERENCES

On May 18, the FEC hosted a Seminar for Corporations and their PACs.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

May 17:  California's 36th Congressional District Special General Election Reports were due. For more information on reporting dates for this special election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice section of the FEC website.

May 20: May Monthly Reports were due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2011 Monthly Reporting page of the FEC website.

The Commission posted the filing deadlines for the Special Election in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this special election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

May 24: The Commission is scheduled to hold an Executive Session.

May 26: The Commission is scheduled to hold an Open Session. The Open Session agenda is available on the FEC website.

UPCOMING EVENTS

June 7-8, Washington, DC.  FEC Seminar for Trade Associations, Labor Organizations,

Membership Organizations and their PACs. Registration information and schedule are on the 2011 Conference/Seminar Schedule page of the FEC website.

OTHER RESOURCES

The May 2011 issue of The Record is in the Publications section of the FEC website. Sign up to receive email notification when a new issue of the Record is posted.

The May 2011 Supplements to the FEC’s Campaign Guides are on the Campaign Guides page of the FEC website.

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