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FEC issues an advisory opinion and approves a proposed final audit report

February 8, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission approved an advisory opinion and a proposed final audit report. The Commission also held a public audit hearing.

Advisory Opinion 2017-13 (NSP and Sorghum PAC). At its open meeting today, the Commission issued an advisory opinion, concluding that the National Sorghum Producers and Sorghum PAC and the state organizations constitute a federation of trade associations under Commission regulations, the checkoff system proposed in the request is permissible, and the state organizations may serve as collecting agents for Sorghum PAC. During the discussion, the Commission heard from the requestor.

Proposed Final Audit Report on the Hawaii Democratic Party. Prior to the open meeting, the Commission approved the Proposed Final Audit Report on the Hawaii Democratic Party, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012. The approved findings relate to the misstatement of financial activity, receipt of contributions that exceed limits, receipt of apparent impermissible funds, reporting of debts and obligations, recordkeeping for employees, failure to properly report media-related expenditures, and allocation of expenditures. The Commission directed the Audit Division to include in the Additional Issues section of the final audit the failure to properly report media-related expenditures-dissemination.

Audit hearing on McSally for Congress. Prior to today’s open meeting, the Commission held an audit hearing on McSally for Congress.

At the conclusion of the open meeting agenda, the Commissioners thanked departing Commissioner Lee E. Goodman for his service to the agency.

“Today marks the end of an era,” Chair Caroline C. Hunter said, calling Commissioner Goodman “a happy warrior for the rights of political parties in particular, and for those who want to participate in speech on the internet.  We appreciate his thoroughness and his professionalism throughout the time he's been here.”

Commissioner Goodman thanked his colleagues and Commission staff members for their work and collegiality. “To my fellow commissioners, let me just say this.  It's not an easy job.  You all assume heavy responsibilities here.  There are difficult balances to be drawn and difficult decisions to be made,” he said. “I have come to respect the heartfelt positions of even those with whom I have disagreed.”

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.