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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release

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Judith Ingram

March 8, 2013

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
   
 

ISSUE 2013-10

Weekly Digest

Week of March 4 – 8

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On March 7, the Commission held an open meeting and an executive session. Click here for agendas and related documents for open meetings. Click here for audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MUR 6421 Benishek for Congress and Trent J. Benishek, in his official capacity as treasurer; Dan Benishek; St. George Glass and Window Co., Inc.; and Steven P. Zurcher. On March 5, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioner Steven T. Walther issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6501
COMPLAINANT: Matthew Teter, Executive Director, Missouri Democratic State Committee
RESPONDENTS: John Brunner; and Brunner for Senate and Larry Legrand, in his official capacity as treasurer
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Brunner failed to file a Statement of Candidacy or designate a principal campaign committee in a timely manner after exceeding the $5,000 threshold amount that would normally trigger registration with the Commission. The complaint alleged further that Brunner for Senate and Legrand, in his official capacity as treasurer, failed to file a Statement of Organization or report receipts and disbursements in a timely manner. Brunner was a 2012 candidate for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On March 4, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioner Steven T. Walther issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6545
COMPLAINANT: Mark Miller
RESPONDENT: Fred Kundrata for Congress Committee and William Bristol, in his official capacity as treasurer; Fredrick L. Kundrata, III; and Robert L. Saurs, in his official capacity as assistant treasurer of the Fred Kundrata for Congress Committee
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Kundrata, the Fred Kundrata for Congress Committee and Bristol, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee), and Saurs, in his official capacity as assistant treasurer, failed to (1) file a pre-primary report in a timely manner, (2) correctly identify the source of two loans, (3) report contributions or debt, (4) report an expenditure for wrapping a vehicle in advertising, and (5) file a Statement of Candidacy in a timely manner. Kundrata was a 2012 primary candidate for Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District.
DISPOSITION:  The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in furtherance of the Commission’s priorities relative to other matters and in light of (1) the limited amount of financial activity disclosed on the pre-primary report, (2) the fact that the loans at issue were correctly identified as loans from the candidate’s “personal funds,” (3)  the fact that the Committee disclosed sufficient receipts to fund the expenditures at issue within a single reporting period, (4) the fact that the expenditures were disclosed in the late-filed pre-primary report, and (5) the fact that Kundrata filed his Statement of Candidacy the same day that he appeared to announce his candidacy, which was, at most, within 35 days of making any disbursements.

MUR 6695
COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENT: Chris Dodd for President, Inc. and Kathryn Damato, in her official capacity as treasurer
SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission found that Chris Dodd for President, Inc. and Damato, in her official capacity as treasurer, (the Committee) failed to report accurately its receipts.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $42,000.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

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

AF 2568 – Otero for Congress and Teresa Gaffney Sussman, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $210.

AF 2569 – Wenona for Arizona and Sal Baldenegro, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $220.

AF 2570 – Djou for Hawaii and Chris S. Mashiba, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $6,720.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY OPERATIONS

Petition For Rulemaking on Electioneering Communications Reporting. On March 7, the Commission discussed the Petition for Rulemaking on Electioneering Communications Reporting that was filed by the Center for Individual Freedom. The petition requests that the Commission conduct a rulemaking proceeding to revise its regulations relating to electioneering communications reporting. A motion to initiate a rulemaking failed 3-2.  A motion to dismiss the Petition for Rulemaking failed 2-3.  The Commission then voted 5-0 to direct the Office of General Counsel to draft a Notice of Disposition and include a summary of the statements expressed by the Commissioners. Statements were issued by Chair Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioner Steven T. Walther.

Draft Notice of Interpretive Rule on Reporting Ultimate Payees of Political Committee Disbursements. On March 7, the Commission made public four comments filed in response to a draft of a Notice of Interpretive Rule on Reporting Ultimate Payees of Political Committee Disbursements, which sought  comment from the public on how political committees should report the ultimate payees of committee disbursements. Comments from the public responding to this request were due on or before March 4, 2013.

LITIGATION

FEC v. Craig for U.S. Senate(Case 1:12-cv-00958-ABJ). On March 7, oral argument on the defendants’ motion to dismiss was rescheduled for March 11 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Free Speech v. FEC (Case 12-8078).On March 5, oral argument was scheduled for May 7 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Vroom v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-0143-RMC). On March 7, the Commission filed a Reply in Support of its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Wagner v. FEC (Case 12-5365). On March 6, the Plaintiffs-Appellants filed a Reply Brief. Oral argument is scheduled for May 16 in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

OUTREACH

On March 5, Commissioner Matthew Petersen discussed recent developments in campaign finance law with members of the Public Affairs Council at the National PAC Conference in Miami Beach, Florida.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Discusses Petition for Rulemaking on Electioneering Communications Reporting (issued March 7)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

March 12: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

March 14: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

March 20, Federal Election Commission, Washington, DC. “Seminar/Webinar for House and Senate Campaigns and Party Committees.” Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

March 20: March Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2013 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

OTHER RESOURCES

The Official 2012 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing was compiled from the official election results published by state election offices.

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 and can be downloaded from the website. To order, call (800)424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

Instructional videos are available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/FECTube?feature=watch. These videos are also available on the Commission's E-Learning resources page at http://www.fec.gov/info/elearning.shtml.


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