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FEC v. Webb for Congress



On January 2, 1991, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Raleigh Division, granted the FEC's motion for summary judgment against William Woodward Webb, a 1986 House candidate, his principal campaign committee and the committee treasurer. (Civil Action No. 89-664-CIV-5-BO.) The court found that defendants had violated 2 U.S.C. §441a(f) by knowingly accepting an excessive contribution in the form of a $19,000 loan from the candidate's mother. Defendants argued that the loaned funds were not subject to the contribution limits because they were Mr. Webb's own funds under the definition of a candidate's "personal funds" in FEC rules: "gifts of a personal nature which had been customarily received prior to candidacy." 11 CFR 110.10(b)(2).


The court ruled that, while Mrs. Webb's loan to her son "may have been intended to be... similar to those gifts she had given to him prior to his candidacy, this gift was distinct in the fact that it was given to Mr. Webb's election committee and not to Mr. Webb directly....Merely because Mr. Webb had received gifts in the past [from his mother] it does not follow that this particular loan was customary or of a personal nature as required by 11 CFR 110.10(b)(2). This gift was made at the request of Mr. Webb and as a direct result of his candidacy." The court also found that defendants had violated 2 U.S.C. §434(b) by falsely reporting Mr. Webb, rather than his mother, as the source of the $19,000 loan.

The court fined the defendants $5,000 and permanently enjoined them from future violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act.

Source:   FEC RecordFebruary 1991, p. 10.