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  • Weekly Digests

Week of December 18 – December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017

Commission meetings and hearings

No Commission meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 2017-12 (Take Back Action Fund). On December 22, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Concurring Statement.

Enforcement

The Commission made public 18 closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6872  

  • COMPLAINANT: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Melanie Sloan
  • RESPONDENT: New Models
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that New Models, which was organized in 2001 and operates under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, failed to register and report as a political committee in 2012.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. Commissioner Ellen Weintraub and Vice Chair Caroline Hunter and Commissioner Lee E. Goodman issued Statements of Reasons.

MUR 6920  

  • COMPLAINANT: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Anne L. Weisman
  • RESPONDENTS: American Conservative Union (ACU); Government Integrity, LLC (Government Integrity); Now or Never PAC and James C. Thomas, III, in his official capacity as treasurer (Now or Never); and James C. Thomas, III
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that (1) ACU knowingly and willfully permitted its name to be used to effect a contribution in the name of another and helped the undisclosed donor to make the contribution, (2) Now or Never knowingly accepted a contribution in the name of another, and (3) an unknown person or persons made a contribution in the name of another.  
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found reason to believe that (1) Government Integrity made a contribution in the name of another, (2) Now or Never knowingly accepted a contribution in the name of another and misreported that contribution, (3) Thomas knowingly assisted in the making of a contribution in the name of another, knowingly accepted that contribution and misreported it; and (4) ACU knowingly permitted its name to be used to effect a contribution in the name of another. The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the respondents to pay a civil penalty of $350,000. On December 19, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons. On December 21, Vice Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioner Lee E. Goodman issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7129  

  • COMPLAINANT: Enrich Horgan
  • RESPONDENTS: Committee to Elect Tom O’Malley and John Griffin, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Brad Winegard
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleges that a statement on the Committee’s website, which was attributed to Winegard, solicited anonymous cash contributions in excess of the limits for such contributions and specifically appealed to potential supporters who were subject to the Hatch Act. O’Malley was a 2016 primary candidate for Massachusetts’s 9th Congressional District.  
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the Committee did not report receiving any cash contributions, the Committee admitted that it should not have posted the statement soliciting anonymous cash contributions, and the amounts it solicited were de minimis.

MURs 7169, 7170, 7171, 7172,7173,7174,7175,7176,7177,7178,7179,7182,7187 and 7188  

  • COMPLAINANT: Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust by Matthew G. Whitaker, Executive Director  
  • RESPONDENTS: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Kelly Ward, in her official capacity as treasurer (DCCC); Hillary for America and Jose Villarreal, in his official capacity as treasurer (HFA); Santarsiero for Congress and Lora Haggard, in her official capacity as treasurer; Ruben Kihuen for Congress and Jay Petterson, in his official capacity as treasurer; Nelson for Wisconsin and Dr. Beth Gillis, in her official capacity as treasurer; Colleen Deacon for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer; Applegate for Congress and Douglas Applegate, in his official capacity as treasurer; Mowrer for Iowa and Dennis Skinner, in his official capacity as treasurer; Texans for Pete and Wayne Alexander, in his official capacity as treasurer; Suzanna Shkreli for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer; Colorado Democratic Party and Judith Steinberg, in her official capacity as treasurer; Carroll for Colorado and Mitchell S. Wright, in his official capacity as treasurer; Eggman for Congress and Jay Petterson, in his official capacity as treasurer; Stephanie Murray for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer; Bryan Caforio for Congress and Gonzalo Freixes, in  his official capacity as treasurer; Friends of Christina M. Hartman and Diane Topakian, in her official capacity as treasurer; and LuAnn Bennett for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer
  • SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that the DCCC (and in one matter the Colorado Democratic Party, or CDP) made and the 14 congressional committees named in the complaints received excessive contributions by improperly allocating the cost of advertisements that each (1) aired in 2016 and (2) referenced then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and one of 14 Republican congressional candidates. The complaints alleged further that the ads were coordinated between the DCCC (and in one matter CDP) and HFA, resulting in excessive in-kind contributions from DCCC and CDP to HFA.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe the DCCC or CDP made, and the candidate committees accepted, excessive in-kind contributions because the information in the record does not support the allegations that the costs for the ads in question were incorrectly allocated.  The Commission further found no reason to believe the DCCC or CDP made, and HFA received, excessive in-kind contributions due to, among other things, the lack of available information indicating (1) the sharing of campaign information and (2) specific facts in the complaint, combined with sworn denials of any coordinating activity.

MUR 7209  

  • COMPLAINANT: Nelson D. Diaz, Chairman, Republican Party of Miami-Dade County
  • RESPONDENT: Jose Peixoto for U.S. Congress and Luana Catarina Peixoto, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to file disclosure reports with the Commission. Peixoto was a 2016 candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed the small amount of financial activity at issue. The Commission sent a letter reminding the Committee to work with Reports Analysis Division to begin filing its disclosure reports or to terminate.

Litigation

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

The Commission has posted the filing deadlines for the Special Election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

The Commission has posted the filing deadlines for the Special Election in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

Additional research materials

The Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.

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

The 2017 edition of the Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available on the new Commission website. 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.

The 2017 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations can be downloaded from the website.  To order printed copies, call (800) 424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

Join the FEC on Twitter and YouTube

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