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  • Weekly Digests

Week of June 1-5, 2020

June 5, 2020

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Commission appointments

On June 5, James E. Trainor III was sworn in as an FEC Commissioner in Austin, Texas.

Advisory Opinions

Request Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2020-02 (Bertrand)

On June 4, 2020, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2020-02. The requestor, Jean-Marc Bertrand, a U.S. citizen residing in Canada, asks several questions regarding his proposal to make expenditures for certain online political advertisements. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 14, 2020) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by July 28, 2020.

Litigation

Pursuing America’ Greatness v. FEC (Case No. 15-1217) On June 1, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (Case No. 20-809) On June 1, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment against the Commission in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-2336) On June 4, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, denying Defendant-Intervenors’ Motion to Dismiss.

Outreach

On June 3, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub discussed the pre-election environment and preparations for the general elections with representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

On June 4, the Commission issued the Statistical Summary of 15-Month Campaign Activity of the 2019-2020 Election Cycle.

On June 5, Commissioner Weintraub spoke via teleconference to Salem State University’s Frederick E. Berry Congressional Institute about campaign finance law and the role of the FEC.

Press releases

James E. Trainor III sworn in as Commissioner (issued June 5)

Upcoming reporting due dates

June 20: June Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2020 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Upcoming educational programs

June 10, 2020: The Commission will host a webinar for trade associations and their PACs.

June 17, 2020: The Commission will host a reporting and FECFile webinar for candidate committees.

June 24, 2020: The Commission will host a FECFile webinar for PACs and parties.

Updated election dates

As states postpone congressional and presidential primary elections to limit possible COVID-19 exposure, the Commission is updating the reporting dates and deadlines associated with those elections. These postponements affect pre-election reports (including 48-Hour Notices for candidate committees), as well as the coordinated communications, electioneering communications, Federal Election Activity and independent expenditure periods for primary elections. Additionally, affected campaigns may continue to accept primary contributions until the date of their rescheduled elections. For the latest reporting updates, please visit the Commission’s Dates and deadlines web page.

Status of agency operations

A statement on the status of agency operations outlines the impact of the staff’s current telework environment on agency services, addresses submission of documents including enforcement complaints, and highlights procedures for presidential and vice presidential candidates to submit public financial disclosure reports. While most agency operations are unaffected at this time, including the public website and electronic filing systems, the Commission has closed its offices to visitors and suspended mail operations. As a result, the Commission will not process any documents submitted on paper, including non-electronically filed reports, advisory opinion requests, enforcement complaints, and court-case documents until further notice.

Additional research materials

Contribution Limits. In addition to the current limits, the Commission has posted an archive of contribution limits that were in effect going back to the 1975-1976 election cycles.

Federal Elections 2018: Election Results for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives is available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.

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.

The 2019 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.

Other election-related resources

Videos on protecting U.S. elections. The FBI’s Protected Voices initiative provides videos designed to help political campaigns protect themselves from foreign influence. The 2019 videos offer guidance on ransomware, business email compromise, supply chain, social media literacy, and foreign influence operations. Other videos, released in 2018, include cyber hygiene topics such as social engineering, patching, router hardening, and app and browser safety.

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.

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