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  • Weekly Digests

Week of May 13 – 17, 2019

May 17, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory Opinions

Extension of Time Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2018-12 (Defending Digital Campaigns, Inc.). On May 14, the requestor granted an extension of time through May 28. Defending Digital Campaigns, Inc. has asked whether it or its private-sector sponsors and partners may provide candidate and political party committees with certain free resources and training to protect those committees from cyberattack.

Supplemental Material Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-05 (System73) On May14, the requestor submitted supplemental material relating to System73’s proposal to enter into a license agreement with a political committee a license fee for the exclusive rights to livestream the committee’s political event.

Litigation

Brown, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-01021) On May 13, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. On May 16, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i).

CREW, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 17-5049) On May 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an Order denying Appellants’ petition for rehearing en banc.

Lieu, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-5072) On May 10, the Commission filed a Motion for Summary Affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Enforcement

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

MUR 6334 (Aristotle International, Inc.). On May 16, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioner Caroline C. Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6596 (Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies) On May 13, Vice Chairman Petersen and Commissioner Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7006

COMPLAINANT: Campaign for Accountability and Anne Weismann, Executive Director
RESPONDENTS: Andrew Heaney; Heaney for Congress and Patrick Gosselin, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Heaney Energy Corp.; Submarine Rock, LLC; Little Deep, LLC; Skaggs-Walsh, Inc.; Allison Heaney; New York Jobs Council and Sloane Skinner, in her official capacity as treasurer (NYJC); Robert Cole; In the Field Consulting, LLC; Crimson Public Affairs, LLC; and James “Jake” Menges
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that before Heaney announced his 2016 candidacy for New York’s 9th Congressional District, he financed NYJC through companies he and his family control, thus making Heaney a federal candidate earlier than reported, and resulting in NYJC accepting and spending prohibited and excessive funds under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act). The complaint also alleged that NYJC and the Committee impermissibly coordinated their communications through the use of common vendors.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7504

COMPLAINANT: Tyler Hammock
RESPONDENTS: Elissa Slotkin for Congress and Janica Kyriacopoulos, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee placed signs without the required disclaimers indicating who had paid for the signs. Elissa Slotkin was a 2018 candidate for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

Audits

Final Audit of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. On May 17, the Commission issued the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the New Jersey Republican State Committee covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016. The Commission approved findings pertaining to misstatement of financial activity and reporting of debts and obligations.

Administrative Fines

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

AF 3455

Democratic Advancement PAC and Thomas A. Cramer, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $2,981.

AF 3471

Scott Salmon for Congress and Jared Lindenberg, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission voted to take no further action.

AF 3496

Democracy First and Pamela Parizek, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $800.

AF 3501

Pipefitters Local Union #524 and Patrick Dolan, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed no civil penalty.

AF 3562

Dr. Tran for Congress and Thao Traci Tran, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $5,142.

Regulations and agency procedures

Interim Final Rule on Senate Filing. The Commission is accepting comments through June 3 on the Interim Rule regarding the point of entry for all campaign finance reports. Comments received may be addressed in a future rulemaking.

Press Releases

District Court issues opinion in Brown, et al. v. FEC (Issued May 13)

Court of Appeals issues order in CREW, et al. v. FEC (Issued May 14)

Outreach

On May 13, Chair Weintraub discussed the measures the Commission is taking to secure the nation’s electoral process with students from the Washington Center.

On May 15-16, Chair Weintraub participated in a panel discussion on digital platforms’ impact on our political environment and the associated regulatory challenges. The discussion was part of an annual conference hosted by the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

May 21 and 23: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

May 23: 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.

Upcoming reporting due dates

May 20, 2019: May 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 May 22, Commission staff will host a webinar for political party committees.

On June 12, Commission staff will host a webinar for candidates and their authorized 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 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.