Bush-Cheney '04 v. FEC (04-1501)
On September 1, 2004, Bush-Cheney '04, Inc. (BC'04) asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to find that the Commission acted contrary to law when it failed to act on the plaintiff's administrative complaints dated March 10, 2004, and March 31, 2004. The administrative complaints alleged that America Coming Together (ACT), The Media Fund, America Votes and other organizations created under 26 U.S.C. §527 were raising and spending money to influence the 2004 Presidential election in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act).
The Act sets forth enforcement procedures governing the manner in which complaints must be handled. Among other provisions in 2 U.S.C. §437g, a complainant may file suit in federal district court seeking judicial review of "a failure of the Commission to act on such complaint during the 120-day period beginning on the date the complaint is filed[.]" 2 U.S.C. §437g(a)(8)(A). While enforcement investigations conducted by the FEC are confidential, the plaintiff asserts that no public action has been taken in response to the administrative complaints.
On March 10, 2004, BC '04 filed an administrative complaint with the FEC alleging that an organization created under 26 U.S.C. §527 called "The Media Fund" was illegally raising and spending money outside the prohibitions, limitations and disclosure requirements of the Act with the purpose of influencing the 2004 Presidential election. On March 31, 2004, BC '04 filed a second complaint alleging that ACT, The Media Fund, America Votes and other organizations were engaging in ongoing violations of the Act by raising and spending money outside of the prohibitions, limitations and disclosure requirements of the Act and illegally coordinating their activities with the Democratic Party and the presidential campaign of John Kerry.
Court complaint and relief
According to the court complaint, the FEC did not act on the plaintiff's administrative complaints for more than 120 days from filing. BC '04 also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, declaring that the FEC's failure to act on the aforementioned complaints is contrary to law. The plaintiff requested an expedited hearing on the motion, and asked the court to issue an injunction ordering the Commission to take action regarding the complaints within 30 days.
On September 15, 2004, the district court held a hearing on the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, and denied the motion.
Source: FEC Record— October 2004