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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
March 31, 2017   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2017-13

Weekly Digest
Week of March 27 – 31

 
COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
 
On March 29, the Commission held an executive session.
 
ENFORCEMENT
  
The Commission made public three closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
 
MUR 7059
COMPLAINANT: Tu Nguyen
RESPONDENTS: Human Rights for Vietnam PAC and Don Le, in his official capacity as treasurer (HRV PAC); Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (Saigon Broadcasting); Viet Tan North America Corp. (Viet Tan); Loretta Sanchez; and Loretta Sanchez for Senate and Ashleigh Aitken, in her official capacity as treasurer (Sanchez Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that (1) Saigon Broadcasting provided the Sanchez Committee with impermissible corporate in-kind contributions by providing free airtime, organizing phone banks, and hosting fundraising events for Sanchez’s election campaigns; (2) Saigon Broadcasting may have made impermissible corporate contributions to HRV PAC as a result of its establishment and funding of the PAC; (3) the Sanchez Committee received illegal contributions from foreign members of Viet Tan and hired a member of Sanchez’s staff in exchange for Viet Tan members’ contributions; and (4) HRV PAC failed to include certain contributions from individuals in its disclosure reports and falsely claimed to have transferred money to entities in Vietnam, despite not actually transferring that money. Sanchez was a Member of Congress representing California’s 46th Congressional District and a 2016 candidate for California’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe a violation occurred in connection with the allegations due to the absence of specific facts in the complaint demonstrating possible violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

MUR 7067
COMPLAINANT: Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust
RESPONDENTS: Friends of Patrick Murphy and Brian Foucart, in his official capacity as treasurer; Patrick E. Murphy; Floridians for a Strong Middle Class and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer (FSMC); Thomas P. Murphy, Jr.; and Coastal Construction Group of South Florida, Inc. (Coastal Construction)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Patrick Murphy, who represented Florida’s 18th Congressional District and was a 2016 candidate for Florida’s United States Senate seat, unlawfully coordinated with FSMC, an independent expenditure-only committee, which was funded primarily by the candidate’s father Thomas Murphy and Coastal Construction. Thomas Murphy is the Chairman and CEO of Coastal Construction and Patrick Murphy reportedly owns an interest in it.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe coordination occurred because the factual record did not support a conclusion that the conduct prong of the coordination test may have been satisfied.

MUR 7082
COMPLAINANT: Wendy Reed
RESPONDENT: Crowdpac
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Crowdpac fraudulently solicited contributions on behalf of Reed, a 2016 candidate for California’s 23rd Congressional District, by using her image on its website without her authorization and by failing to include a disclaimer stating who is making the solicitation. Crowdpac operates a web-based contribution platform that allows users to make contributions to political candidates through web pages dedicated to each federal candidate registered with the Commission. The complaint further requested a formal investigation to determine whether contributions received by Crowdpac are being distributed to the candidates designated by the contributors.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe a violation occurred because based on the available information, it does not appear that the activity at the center of the complaint deviates from the specific transaction or activity approved by the Commission in an advisory opinion for Crowdpac in 2014 (Advisory Opinion 2017-07). As to the investigation requested in the complaint, the complainant provided no specific information that the contributions processed through the Crowdpac website are not being provided to the designated recipient candidates.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Commission made public one campaign finance enforcement matter that was resolved through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
 
ADR 804
COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Americans for a Conservative Direction (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee failed to file a 24-Hour Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed pay a civil penalty of $2,550.
 
AUDIT
 
Final Audit of the Commission on the Kind for Congress Committee. On March 30, the Commission issued the Final Audit of the Commission on the Kind for Congress Committee, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2014. The Commission approved a finding related to the untimely deposit of receipts.
 
LITIGATION
 
Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:16-cv-00752-JDB). On March 29, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order.  

FEDERAL REGISTER
 
On March 29, the Commission published in the Federal Register the Supplemental Notice of Disposition of Petition for Rulemaking on Candidate Debates.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
 
On March 29, the Commission hosted a Webinar for Member/Labor Organizations. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.  
 
PRESS RELEASES
 
District Court Issues Opinion in Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (issued March 30)
 
UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
 
April 19:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.
 
April 20: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
 
Meeting dates are subject to change. Please contact the Press Office the week of the scheduled meeting for confirmation.
 
JOIN THE FEC ON TWITTER AND YOUTUBE IN 2017

Follow @FEC on Twitter to receive the latest information on agency updates, news releases, and weekly activity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, FECTube: FECConnect on Demand, to watch instructional videos that have been designed to help candidates and committees comply with federal campaign finance laws. Note that the FEC is not currently available through other social media platforms at this time. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other mediums has not been authorized by the FEC.
 
UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
 
April 26: Trade Association Webinar. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.  
 
UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES
 
April 15: April Quarterly Reports are due. For information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.
 
April 20: April Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
 
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 March 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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