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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

October 5, 2012

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
   
 

ISSUE 2012-40

Weekly Digest

Week of October 1 – 5

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On October 2, the Commission held an executive session.

On October 4, 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.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Advisory Opinion Request 2012-25 (American Future Fund/American Future Fund Political Action/McIntosh). On October 4, the Commission discussed three drafts but did not vote on an advisory opinion request from American Future Fund, American Future Fund Political Action, David McIntosh, and David McIntosh for Indiana, regarding their proposed plan to establish joint fundraising committees. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of the requestors.  The deadline for the Commission to issue a response is October 9, 2012.

Advisory Opinion Request 2012-32 (Tea Party Leadership Fund). On October 4, the Commission discussed a draft but did not vote on the request, which asks (1) whether the Tea Party Leadership Fund (TPLF), a non-connected political committee, may make contributions to candidates of up to $5,000 per election before the end of the six-month waiting period required for it to qualify as a multicandidate committee and (2) whether federal candidates Sean Bielat and John Raese may accept contributions from TPLF of more than $2,500, but not more than $5,000, per election before the end of the waiting period. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of the requestors.  The deadline for the Commission to issue a response is October 11, 2012.

Request Received

AOR 2012-34 (Freedom PAC and Friends of Mike H).  On October 2, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2012-34, which was submitted by Freedom PAC and Friends of Mike H. The requestors ask about the amount of contributions that Freedom PAC, an independent expenditure-only committee, may accept from Friends of Mike H, an authorized committee of a Federal candidate. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than October 12, 2012). The Commission must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by December 3, 2012.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public 13 campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program.

AF 2515 –Brian K. Hill for US Senate and Howard Kenton Hill, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $155.

AF 2517 – Goehring for Congress and Terry McDonald, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed no civil penalty.

AF 2518 – Libertarian Party of Indiana and Todd Singer, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $595.

AF 2519 – Mike Williams for Congress and Eric Martin, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed no civil penalty.

AF 2522 – Our Voice PAC and Robert Fee, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $500.

AF 2523 – Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 22 PAC Inc. and Michael W. McNally, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $400.

AF 2524 – Ward and Smith, P.A. Political Action Committee and James W. Norment, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $560.

AF 2525 – Jill Stein for President and John David Portelli, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $3,035.

AF 2529 – Blum for Congress 2012 and Edward Graham, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $480.

AF 2530 – Jim Reed for Congress and Julia Earnest, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $505.

AF 2531 – Democratic Party of Orange County Fed PAC and David Gould, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $200.

AF 2532 – Southern Company – Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. PAC and Robert M. Cannon, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $550.

AF 2533 – Women’s Campaign Forum and Siobhan Bennett, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $375.

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

AUDITS

Final Audit Report on the Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee.  On October 1, 2012, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. The Commission approved findings related to the misstatement of financial activity and allocation of expenditures.

Final Audit Report on Djou for Hawaii.  On October 2, 2012, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on Djou for Hawaii, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.  The Commission approved findings related to the misstatement of financial activity, failure to file 48-hour notices for contributions received and failure to report debts and obligations.

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. On October 4, the Commission discussed and then held over until the next open meeting the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. The Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum recommends that the Commission approve the findings presented in the Draft Final Audit Report related to the misstatement of financial activity and the overfunding of federal accounts by non-federal accounts.

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Rightmarch.com PAC, Inc. On October 4, the Commission discussed and then held over until the next open meeting the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Rightmarch.com PAC, Inc. covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. The Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum recommends that the Commission approve the findings presented in the Draft Final Audit Report related to the misstatement of financial activity, extension of credit by a commercial vendor and the failure to file notices of and properly disclose independent expenditures.

Click here for general information about Final Audit Reports. Audits are segregated into three categories: Authorized Committees, Unauthorized Committees, and Title 26 Audit Reports.

LITIGATION 

Free Speech v. FEC (Case 2:12-cv-00127-SWS). On October 2, the plaintiff filed its Opposition to the Commission’s Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum in Support of Opposition to Motion to Dismiss in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming.  On October 3, the court issued an oral ruling denying plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction.

Hassan v. FEC (Case 1:11-cv-02189-EGS). On September 28, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting the Commission’s Motion to Dismiss.

Hispanic Leadership Fund v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-00893-TSE-TRJ). On October 4, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued its Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Johnson v. FEC (Case 8:12-cv-01626-ODW-JC). On September 26, plaintiffs Gary E. Johnson, James P. Gray, and Gary Johnson 2012, Inc. filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The complaint alleges that plaintiffs are entitled to $747,115.34 in pre-election payments of public funds for the candidacies of plaintiffs Johnson and Gray for the offices of President and Vice-President, respectively, under the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act. Also on September 26, plaintiffs filed an Ex Parte Application for Mandatory Injunction, or in the Alternative Writ of Mandate, or Other Appropriate Relief. On October 4, the Commission filed its Opposition to Plaintiffs' Ex Parte Application.

Van Hollen v. FEC (District Court Case 1:11-cv-00766-ABJ; Circuit Court Case 12-5117).  On October 4, the Commission considered and failed to adopt by the requisite four votes a motion to initiate a rulemaking in response to the District Court’s order of September 20, which directed the Commission to file a status report informing the court whether it “intends to pursue rulemaking or defend its current regulation.”  The Office of General Counsel subsequently filed a Status Report advising the District Court that the Commission “does not intend to pursue a rulemaking and that it will continue to defend 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(c)(9) before the Court.”  Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioners Cynthia L. Bauerly and Steven T. Walther issued separate statements.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

October 3, the Commission hosted Roundtable Workshops on Reporting for Candidate Committees.  

October 3, the Commission hosted Roundtable Workshops on FECFiling & E-Filing for PACs and Party Committees.  

October 3, the Commission hosted Roundtable Workshops on Reporting for PACs and Party Committees.

October 3, the Commission hosted Roundtable Workshops on FECFiling & E-Filing for Candidate Committees.

OUTREACH

On October 1, Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub discussed campaign finance law and presidential public funding with students from American University.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

On October 2, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General made public its Survey of the Commission’s New Employee Orientation Program.

On October 4, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General made public its Fiscal Year 2013 Work Plan.

PRESS RELEASES

District Court Issues Opinion in Hassan v. FEC (issued October 1)

District Court Issues Opinion in Free Speech v. FEC (issued October 3)

FEC Considers Next Steps in Connection with Van Hollen v. FEC, Discusses Two Advisory Opinion Requests and Two Audit Division Recommendation Memorandums, and Demonstrates New Web Disclosure Tool (issued October 4)

District Court Issues Opinion In Hispanic Leadership Fund, Inc. v. FEC (issued October 5)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

October 16: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

October 18: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

December 12: On Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., the Commission will hold a public hearing to 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

November 14, Federal Election Commission, Washington, DC. Roundtable Workshops on Winding Down the Campaign. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

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

October 20: October Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Monthly 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.

An index to the Record news articles published in 2012 is available on the Commission website. 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.

The FEC Annual Reports from 1975-2006 are now available on the website. Beginning in 2007, the Commission consolidated its Annual Report with its Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) to provide a single account of the agency's activities for each fiscal year.

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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