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  • Weekly Digests

Week of April 15 - 19, 2019

April 19, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

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

Advisory Opinions

Request Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-07 (Area 1 Security, Inc.). On April 19, 2019, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2019-07 from Area 1 Security, Inc. The requestor, a technology corporation, asks whether it may offer anti-phishing cybersecurity services to federal candidates and political committees at little to no cost. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than April 29) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by June 10, 2019.

Litigation

Enforcement

The Commission made public four closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6918

  • COMPLAINANT: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
  • RESPONDENTS: Aaron Schock; Schock for Congress and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (Schock Committee); Schock Victory Committee and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (Schock Victory); GOP Generation Y Fund and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (Generation Y); TC Investments 3, LLC (TC Investments); and Todd Green
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that between 2012 and 2014, Schock impermissibly used non-commercial aircraft to travel on behalf of the Schock Committee (his principal campaign committee), Schock Victory (a joint fundraising committee), and Generation Y (his leadership PAC). The Complaint further alleged that TC Investments, one of the entities that provided non-commercial flights, and its owner Green made a prohibited or excessive contribution by providing campaign travel to Schock without charge, and that the respondent committees failed to disclose these in-kind contributions.
  • DISPOSITION: On July 12, 2016, the Commission found reason to believe Schock, the Schock Committee, Schock Victory, or Generation Y violated the Act, but voted to take no action at that time as to any of the other respondents. After conducting an investigation, on March 14, 2019, the Commission voted to take no further action with respect to Schock, Schock Victory, and Generation Y, and it voted to dismiss the allegations against TC Investments, Todd Green, and the Schock Committee. The Commission noted that of the eight purportedly noncommercial flights, one was on a commercial carrier, one was on a carrier that represented itself to the public as a commercial charter service, and the remaining six flights were on a carrier that respondents stated they had a good faith belief to be a commercial charter carrier. The Commission also noted that respondents paid a commercial charter rate for each of the flights. The Commission noted further that Schock was no longer a federal officeholder and had been under indictment for alleged criminal offenses related to his use of public and campaign funds, and that neither SVC nor Generation Y were active committees. Moreover, during the Office of General Counsel investigation, no evidence came to light regarding any TC Investments flights taken by Schock as a campaign traveler. On April 19, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6932

  • COMPLAINANT: Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust
  • RESPONDENTS: Hillary Rodham Clinton; Hillary for America and Jose H. Villarreal, in his official capacity as treasurer (HFA); Ready PAC (f/k/a Ready for Hillary PAC), and Amy Wills Gray in her official capacity as treasurer (Ready PAC); and Unknown Respondent.
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Clinton failed to timely file a Statement of Candidacy with the Commission; that Clinton and HFA accepted excessive and prohibited contributions in the form of payments for several public speaking engagements; that Clinton, HFA, and Ready PAC made and knowingly accepted excessive contributions in connection with coordinated communications; and that HFA, Ready PAC, and an unknown respondent made and knowingly accepted an excessive in-kind contribution in connection with Ready PAC’s email list.
  • DISPOSITION: On February 7, 2019, the Commission found no reason to believe that Clinton failed to timely file a Statement of Candidacy with the Commission, that Clinton and HFA accepted excessive or prohibited contributions in connection with Clinton’s paid speeches, or that Clinton, HFA, or Ready PAC violated the Act by making or knowingly accepting excessive contributions in connection with coordinated communications. The Commission was equally divided on whether to find reason to believe that HFA, Ready PAC, and an unknown respondent made or knowingly accepted an excessive in-kind contribution in connection with Ready PAC’s email list. On March 28, 2019, the Commission closed the file.

MUR 7217

  • COMPLAINANT: Republican Party of New Mexico
  • RESPONDENTS: Soules for US Congress and Laura Garcia, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Merrie Lee Soules; Aero Newton, Inc.; Aero Flight Club of Las Cruces, Inc.; and Brent E. Shelley
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Aero Newton, Inc. made, and Soules and the Committee accepted, a prohibited in-kind corporate contribution in the form of non-commercial air travel. Soules was a 2016 candidate for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: On April 25, 2018, the Commission found reason to believe that Soules and the Committee violated the Act by accepting travel on a non-commercial aircraft, and voted to take no action at the time against Aero Newton, Inc., Aero Flight Club of Las Cruces, Inc., or Shelley, who was the pilot of the flights alleged in the complaint. On March 26, 2019, the Commission closed the file. On April 19, Chair Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7423

  • COMPLAINANT: Joan Greene
  • RESPONDENTS: Friends of Jose Torres and Jason Kopas, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to file a 2018 April Quarterly Report and failed to include a proper disclaimer on its website.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in furtherance of Commission priorities.

Regulations and agency procedures

Commissioner Statements

Outreach

  • On April 18, Chair Weintraub discussed the role and work of the Commission with students from American University.

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

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

Upcoming reporting due dates

  • April 20, 2019: April Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Upcoming educational programs

  • On April 24, Commission staff will host a webinar for trade associations and their PACs.
  • On May 22, Commission staff will host a webinar for political party committees.

Additional research materials

FEC Notify: Want to be notified by email when campaign finance reports are received by the agency? Sign up here.

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

Printed copies of the 2018 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are now available. Contact the Commission's Information Division at (202) 694-1100 or (800) 424-9530 (press 6, when prompted) to order printed copies of the CFR at no charge. You may also email the Information Division to place an order at info@fec.gov.

The 2017 Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations is available. Other Campaign Guides are available, as well.

Federal Elections 2016: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices. To order a printed copy, please contact the FEC’s Public Records Office at 800/424-9530 (option 2) or 202/694-1120, or send an email to pubrec@fec.gov.

The Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available. 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 FEC Record is available as a continuously updated online news source.

Join the FEC on Twitter and YouTube

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 media has not been authorized by the FEC.

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