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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

August 24, 2012

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
   
 

ISSUE 2012-34

Weekly Digest

Week of August 20 – 24

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On August 23, the Commission held an open audit hearing on the McCain-Palin 2008, Inc. and McCain-Palin Compliance Fund, Inc.

On August 23, the Commission held an open meeting. Click here for agendas and related documents for open meetings. Click here for audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations.

No Commission Executive Sessions were scheduled this week.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Advisory Opinion Issued

AO 2012-27 (National Defense Committee).  The National Defense Committee (NDC) is a 501(c)(4) organization that plans to finance certain Internet advertisements and ask for donations to fund its activities. On August 24, the Commission concluded that three of seven advertisements proposed by NDC would not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate and two of the four proposed donation requests would not be solicitations of contributions under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act). The Commission could not approve a response by the required four affirmative votes concerning the remaining advertisements and donation requests, or concerning NDC's other questions.

Advisory Opinions Considered

AOR 2012-29 (Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.). On August 23, the Commission discussed and voted on two draft advisory opinions, based on a request from Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., but did not approve either draft. Hawaiian Airlines is an incorporated airline that provides inter-island flights and service between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, Australia, and Asia. In its request, it asked whether it may organize appearances by U.S. Senate candidates at which members of Hawaiian Airlines' restricted class, as well as leaders in the Hawaii travel and tourism industry, will be present. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of the requestor.

AOR 2012-30 (Revolution Messaging, LLC). On August 23, the Commission discussed a draft advisory opinion and intends to make public a revised draft based on the discussion at the table for a tally vote by the end of next week. The Commission also extended the public comment period on the existing draft and any additional drafts or comments on the drafts until 5:00 p.m. on August 28, 2012.The requestor asked whether its proposal to use mobile phone text messaging to raise funds for political committees is permissible under the Act and Commission regulations. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of the requestor.

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

ENFORCEMENT

The Commission made public two Statements of Reasons. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6344 – United Public Workers, AFSCME Local 646, AFL-CIO; Dayton Nakanelua, State Director, UPW, Clifford “Chip” Uwaine, Executive Assistant to the State Director, UPW; Laurie Santiago, Oahu Division Director, UPW; Hanabusa 2011 and Patsy Saiki, in her official capacity as treasurer. A Statement of Reasons was issued by Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioners Donald F. McGahn and Matthew S. Petersen.

MUR 6441 – Unknown Respondent. A Statement of Reasons was issued by Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioners Donald F. McGahn and Matthew S. Petersen.

AUDITS

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the National Campaign Fund. On August 23, the Commission approved the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the National Campaign Fund, covering campaign finance activity between February 4, 2008 and December 31, 2008, subject to changes based on the discussion at the table. The Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum recommended that the Commission approve the findings presented in the Draft Final Audit Report related to the misstatement of financial activity and the failure to file notices and properly disclose independent expenditures.

LITIGATION

Shaun McCutcheon, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-01034-JEB-JRB-RLW)). On August 20, the Commission filed its Motion to Dismiss in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Wagner v. FEC (Case 1:11-cv-01841-JEB). On August 22, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a Motion to Participate as Amici Curiae with Supporting Memorandum of Law and a Memorandum as Amicus Curiae in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

OUTREACH

On August 22, Communications Specialist Isaac Baker discussed campaign finance law and the impact of the Citizens United case with students from China's Central Party School.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

August 20: August Monthly Reports were due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Discusses Three Advisory Opinion Requests, Extends the Public Comment Period for One of the Advisory Opinion Requests, Approves Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum (issued August 23)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETING

December 12: The public hearing originally scheduled on September 12, 2012, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.  The Commission will discuss several key issues related to its enforcement process, including issues relating to the documents that were released to the public recently. Any general questions and comments related to the documents can be sent to Documents_Feedback@fec.gov.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

August 28, Federal Election Commission, Washington, DC. Roundtable Workshop on Pre-Election Communications. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

September 20: September Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

October 15: October Quarterly Reports are due. For information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.

OTHER RESOURCES

The 2012 edition of the Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available in the Public Records section of the Commission website. This publication identifies the federal and state agencies responsible for the disclosure of campaign finances, lobbying, personal finances, public financing, candidates on the ballot, election results, spending on state initiatives and other financial filings.

The Record news page is available in the Publications section of the Commission website. Sign up to receive email notification when new articles are posted.

Printed copies of the 2012 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations are now available. To order, call (800)424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

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