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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
February 17, 2017   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2017-07

Weekly Digest
Week of February 13 – 17


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS


No Commission open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Advisory Opinion Request 2016-23 (Socialist Workers Party). On February 17, the Commission made public a comment on a draft in response to a request from the Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Workers National Campaign Committee to extend the partial reporting exemption provided in earlier advisory opinions to the Socialist Workers Party.

ENFORCEMENT
 
The Commission made public three closed cases and 11 Statements of Reasons, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6892
COMPLAINANT: Casey M. Mann, Executive Director, North Carolina Democratic Party
RESPONDENTS: Walker 4 NC and Collin McMichael, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Jay and Katrina Whitt; The Freedom Project and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer (Freedom Project); Next Century Fund and Mary T. Fauth, in her official capacity as treasurer (Next Century Fund); and Majority Committee PAC and Jill Thomson, in her official capacity as treasurer (Majority Committee PAC).
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Jay and Katrina Whitt made and the Committee accepted excessive, unreported in-kind contributions in connection with the Committee’s use of a bus owned by the Whitts. The complaint alleged further that the Committee received an excessive, unreported in-kind contribution in the form of the use of a time-share donated by a supporter as a prize for a fundraiser raffle. Finally, the complaint alleged that the Freedom Project, Next Century Fund and Majority Committee PAC made and the Committee accepted excessive contributions, which were designated for debt retirement, but the Committee did not report any debt to which these contributions could be applied. Mark Walker was a 2014 candidate for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that the Committee accepted excessive contributions designated for debt retirement because it appears that the Committee had sufficient election debt to accept the contributions at issue. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegation regarding use of the bus in light of the advanced age of the vehicle and the fact that the Committee paid certain expenses under the lease. The Commission likewise dismissed the allegation in connection with the raffle prize in light of the Committee’s remedial action.

MUR 6925
COMPLAINANT: Florence Sebern
RESPONDENTS: First Congressional District Republican Central Committee and Alexander Hornaday, individually and in his official capacity as treasurer (CD1 Committee); Gabriel Schwartz; David Sprecace; Harry L. Arkin; Andrew Struttman; Eric Heyssel; Christopher O. Murray; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee and Robert Balink, in his official capacity as treasurer (State Party Committee); and Ryan R. Call
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the CD1 Committee made a $6,500.80 contribution to the federal account of the State Party Committee in 2013 but that neither reported the contribution in its FEC filings. The complaint alleged further that the CD1 Committee should have registered with the Commission as a political committee in 2013 as a result of this contribution.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegations against the CD1 Committee and the State Party Committee in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the CD1 Committee may not have understood that its contribution exceeded the statutory threshold for political committee status, the State Party Committee refused it and never deposited it for that reason, and the check was returned. The Commission found no reason to believe that Hornaday individually or the remaining respondents, who are current and former officers of the CD1 and State Party Committees, violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), because there was no such evidence before the Commission.

MUR 7030
COMPLAINANT: July Currais
RESPONDENTS: Joe Garcia for Congress and Roland Sanchez-Medina, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Joe Garcia
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Garcia, a 2016 candidate in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, filed his Statement of Candidacy in an untimely manner.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities and resources. The Commission observed that the Committee filed the required forms prior to receipt of the complaint.

MUR 5935 – Rep. Kirsten E. Gillibrand. On February 17, Vice Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioner Matthew S. Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6137 – Informed Catholic Citizens. On February 17, Vice Chair Hunter and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6494 – Representative Jeannette H. Schmidt; Schmidt for Congress Committee and Peter Schmidt, in his official capacity as treasurer; Phillip Greenburg, individually; Peter Schmidt; Joseph Braun; the Turkish Coalition of America, Inc.; G. Lincoln McCurdy; Turkish American Legal Defense Fund; Bruce Fein; David Saltzman; Donald C. Brey; Sarah D. Morrison; and Elizabeth J. Watters. On February 17, Vice Chair Hunter, Commissioner Goodman, and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6529 – Gloria Negrete McLeod; Gloria Negrete McLeod for Congress and Gilbert McLeod, in his official capacity as treasurer; Gloria Negrete McLeod for Senate 2010; Gloria Negrete McLeod for Supervisor 2014; and Lang, Hansen, O’Malley & Miller. On February 17, Vice Chair Hunter and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6540 – Rick Santorum for President and Nadine Maenza, in her official capacity as treasurer; Michigan Faith & Freedom Coalition; Glenn Clark; and The Palazzo Grande, Inc. On February 17, Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6543 – Unknown Respondents. On February 17, Vice Chair Hunter and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6624 – Gould for Congress and Janice Gould, in her official capacity as treasurer. On February 17, Vice Chair Hunter, Commissioner Goodman, and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6697 – League of Conservation Voters, Inc.; Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund and Joe Splinter, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Montana Conservation Voters and Theresa M. Keaveny, in her official capacity as treasurer. On February 15, Vice Chair Hunter, Commissioner Goodman, and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6747 – Rick Santorum for President, Inc. and Nadine Maenza, in her official capacity as treasurer; Rick Santorum; William J. Doré; Red, White and Blue Fund and Christopher M. Marston, in his official capacity as treasurer. On February 15, Vice Chair Hunter, Commissioner Goodman, and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6863 – Alison for Kentucky and Robert C. Stilz III, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Alison Lundergan Grimes; and S.R. Holding Co. Inc., d/b/a Signature Special Event Services. On February 15, Vice Chair Hunter, Commissioner Goodman, and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6976 – Johnny W. Streets, Jr.; Johnny W. Streets, Jr., City Council Committee (Streets Committee); Lofton Island Developments LLLP; Lofton Island GP, LLC; and Lofton Island Holdings, LLLP. On February 14, Vice Chair Hunter, Commissioner Goodman, and Commissioner Petersen issued a Statement of Reasons.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public two campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

AF 3067 – Keystone Alliance Political Action Committee and Robert B. Asher, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $4,950.

AF 3089 – Vicente Gonzalez for Congress and Lorena Saenz Gonzalez, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $20,137.

OUTREACH

On February 14, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub discussed campaign finance disclosure rules and the role of the Commission with a group of leaders from various countries. The group is visiting the U.S. as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program's Western Hemisphere Regional Project.

On February 16, Commissioner Weintraub met with American University students to discuss the role and work of the Commission, as well as recent developments in campaign finance law.

FEDERAL REGISTER

On February 16, the Commission published the Price Index Adjustments for Contribution and Expenditure Limitations and Lobbyist Bundling Disclosure Threshold in the Federal Register.

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

February 22:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

February 23: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting and an executive session.

Meeting dates are subject to change. Please contact the Press Office the week of the scheduled meeting for confirmation.

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UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

February 21: Corporate Webinar. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

February 20: February Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

The Commission posted the filing deadlines for the Special General and Runoff Elections in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

DISCLOSURE INITIATIVES

Commission staff, together with our partners at 18F, continue to add new features to the agency's beta.fec.gov website. The Commission encourages website visitors to submit comments and questions by clicking on the “Feedback” tab at the bottom of each page.

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH MATERIALS

The Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.

Additional research materials about the agency, campaign finance information, and election results are available through the Library section of the Commission website.

The latest 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 Commission has published the February Record newsletter. Sign up to receive email notification when new Record articles are posted.

The latest edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations can be downloaded from the website.  To order printed copies, call (800) 424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

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