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  • Weekly Digests

Week of February 12 -February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018

Commission meetings and hearings

The open meeting previously scheduled for February 15 was canceled.

Enforcement

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

MUR 7159

  • COMPLAINANT: James F. Donelon
  • RESPONDENTS: Trump Make America Great Again Committee and Bradley T. Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (MAGA); Donald J. Trump for President and Bradley T. Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Republican National Committee and Anthony W. Parker, in his official capacity as treasurer (RNC)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that a fundraising letter signed by Trump and sent by MAGA, a joint fundraising committee composed of the Committee and the RNC, lacked an appropriate disclaimer.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of agency priorities. The Commission observed that it appears unlikely that the general public would have been misled as to who was responsible for the letter.

MUR 7201

  • COMPLAINANT: Renata Walters
  • RESPONDENT: Ted Cruz for Senate and Bradley S. Knippa, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee ignored a request to cancel scheduled monthly contributions to the Committee and allowed recurring contributions to be made for two months beyond the cancellation request.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of agency priorities. The Commission observed the indeterminate amount at issue and the lack of available information that might support an allegation that the Committee violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

MUR 7204

  • COMPLAINANT: Jeremy Gold, President, The Gold Standard LLC
  • RESPONDENT: Foster Campbell for U.S. Senate and Ron Roberts, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint and a supplement alleged that the Committee failed to timely and accurately report debt for fundraising consulting services.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of agency priorities. The Commission observed that the Committee has now reported the disputed debt.

MUR 7210

  • COMPLAINANT: Susan Beck
  • RESPONDENTS: Frank Durkalski; and the Chesterland News
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Chesterland News published two paid advertisements containing express advocacy that lacked appropriate disclaimers. After receiving a copy of the complaint, the Chesterland News published a clarification providing the name and address of the individual responsible for the ads: Durkalski.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On February 16, Commissioner Lee E. Goodman issued a Concurring Statement.

MUR 7289

  • COMPLAINANT: Anthony J. DeFazio
  • RESPONDENT: Take Back the Tenth and Abbey M. Ruby, in her official capacity as treasurer 
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Take Back the Tenth, an independent expenditure-only political committee, and Ruby used a mobile billboard truck to display advertisements that did not include required disclaimers.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of agency priorities. The Commission observed that the incident at issue appeared to be isolated, the amount involved was modest, and the Committee had made remedial efforts to re-train its volunteers.

Alternative dispute resolution

The Commission made public two campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

ADR 843

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: American Financial Services Association PAC and Bill Hempler, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The Committee misstated receipts by $10,080.78 and disbursements by $67,904.92 in 2013, and failed to disclose $310,683 in receipts on original reports filed during the 2014 election cycle.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to perform an annual internal audit and reconciliation for two years and to pay a civil penalty of $11,000.

ADR 844

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: Jimmy Gomez for Congress and Mary Hodge, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee) 
  • SUBJECT: The Committee failed to disclose all financial activity on its original 2017 12-Day Pre-Special General Report, including $130,114.76 in debts.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual including internal controls and to pay a civil penalty of $2,400.

Audits

NY Republican Federal Campaign Committee

On February 14, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the NY Republican Federal Campaign Committee, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012. The Commission approved findings related to misstatement of financial activity, recordkeeping for employees, disclosure of occupation and name of employer, and recordkeeping for communications. The report addressed additional issues related to misstatement of financial activity and reporting of apparent independent expenditures.

Litigation

Commissioners’ statements

Outreach

On February 14, Communications Specialist Zainab Smith discussed campaign finance law with a member of the Indonesian House of Representatives and staff from the Indonesian Embassy.

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

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

Public disclosure

The Commission has posted the 2018 coordinated party expenditure limits and the lobbyist bundling disclosure reporting threshold for 2018.

Upcoming educational programs

  • February 21-22: Scottsdale, Arizona Regional Conference for candidates, parties and separate segregated funds. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

Upcoming reporting due dates

  • February 20: February Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2018 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Additional research materials

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

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

The 2018 Congressional Primary Election Dates list is available.

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.

The 2017 edition of 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.

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.

 The FEC is moving.

In March 2018, the Commission will be moving from its current location at 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC to 1050 First Street, NE, Washington, DC. The Commission will begin receiving mail at its new address on March 19, 2018. 

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 mediums has not been authorized by the FEC.