WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission recently made public its final action on six matters under review (MURs). In one matter, the Commission found no reason to believe there was a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended. The Commission dismissed five matters.
Under the law, the FEC must attempt to resolve its enforcement cases, or MURs, through a confidential investigative process that may lead to a negotiated conciliation agreement between the Commission and the individual or group.Additional information regarding MURs can be found on the FEC web site at http://www.fec.gov/em/mur.shtml.
This release contains only summary information.For additional details, please consult publicly available documents for each case in the Enforcement Query System (EQS) on the FEC web site at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqs/searcheqs.
Walt Minnick; and Minnick for Congress and Vern Bisterfeldt, in his official capacity as treasurer
David E. Olson
The complaint alleged that Rep. Minnick misused his congressional mail franking privileges by sending campaign flyers containing endorsements by four constituents, and that the flyers resulted in a contribution to Minnick for Congress. The complaint alleged further that the flyers lacked disclaimers. Rep. Minnick represents Idaho’s First Congressional District.
The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act or Commission regulations with the flyers because the mailings did not involve a contribution or expenditure by a person as defined in the Act (the federal government is excluded from the definition) and did not constitute the sort of mailings that require disclaimers under the Act.
Service Employees International Union SEIU Committee on Political Education, et al.
National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc.; Karen Glass; and Michael R. Casaretto
The complaint alleged that an amendment to the SEIU constitution amounted to a threat of a financial reprisal against local unions that did not raise a required minimum amount for the SEIU''''s federal political action committee (PAC).
Decidedly Unhappy Mainstream Patriots Rejecting Evil-Mongering Incompetent Democrats PAC (DUMPREID PAC) and Charles Muth, in his official capacity as treasurer
Nevada State Democratic Party by its Chairman, Sam Lieberman
The complaint alleged that the DUMPREID PAC improperly used Sen. Harry Reid’s name in its own title and failed to include adequate disclaimers on public communications and websites.
The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter because the Committee''''s current Statement of Organization and its website disclaimer include the Committee''''s full name in the text and a mailer used the "DUMPREID" name, thereby providing partial identification. The Commission cautioned the Committee and its treasurer to take steps to ensure that their conduct is in compliance with the Act and Commission regulations.
The complaint alleged that the Fort Bend Democrats (FBD) failed to register as a political committee and file campaign finance reports with the Commission when the group made expenditures in excess of $1,000 to support the election of U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega and presidential candidate Barack Obama. The complaint alleged that the expenditures were for the payment and distribution of door hangers and other materials to advocate for the election of the two candidates. Noriega was a candidate in Texas’s 2008 Senate race.
The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in light of the modest expense associated with the production and distribution of the materials at issue, and in furtherance of Commission priorities and resources related to other matters.
Bentley B. Rayburn; Committee to Elect Rayburn for Congress and Loren E. Shannon in his official capacity as treasurer; and Ralph Braden, President, Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region (HBA)
Matthew J. Werner
The complaint alleged that Rayburn, the Committee to Elect Rayburn for Congress and Shannon, in his official capacity as treasurer, accepted and HBA made a prohibited in-kind contribution when HBA conducted a poll to gauge support for Rayburn’s candidacy. The complaint contends that the Committee to Elect Rayburn for Congress failed to disclose any payments to HBA for the poll. Rayburn was a 2008 primary election candidate from Colorado’s 5th Congressional District.
The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion, and dismissed the matter due to the low dollar amount at issue and in furtherance of Commission priorities and resources related to other matters. The Commission also sent a letter to HBA, reminding it to comply with the Act and Commission regulations.
Steve Austria; Steve Austria for Congress and Donald D. Jones, in his official capacity as treasurer; Eileen Austria; David L. Hobson; Walther A. Wildman; The Turner Foundation; John T. Landess; and Raymond A. Hagerman
John R. Mitchel
The complaint made various allegations regarding Rep. Austria, Rep. Austria’s spouse, and former Rep. Hobson, specifically, that Rep. Austria failed to report information in his 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement related to compensation paid to his spouse, as well as allegations with respect to the posting of pictures of members of the military in uniform giving the appearance of official endorsement by the military. Austria was a 2008 and is a 2010 candidate in Ohio’s 7th Congressional District.
The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter due to the lack of specific credible information to substantiate certain claims and because certain allegations were not within the jurisdiction of the agency.
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.
This information is not intended to replace the law or to change its meaning, nor does this information create or confer any rights for or on any person or bind the Federal Election Commission or the public.
The reader is encouraged also to consult the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (52 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.), Commission regulations (Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations), Commission advisory opinions and applicable court decisions.