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  • Weekly Digests

Week of June 18– June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018

Commission meetings and hearings

No Commission meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory opinions

Drafts

Advisory Opinion Request 2018-09 (Clements for Congress)

  • On June 21, the Commission made public a draft of AO 2018-09. The requestor, the principal campaign committee of Paul Clements, a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, asks whether it may use campaign funds for legal expenses incurred in obtaining ballot access.

Enforcement

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

MUR 6792

  • COMPLAINANT: Maria E. Kelso
  • RESPONDENTS: Sean Eldridge; Sean Eldridge for Congress and Michael Oates in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee accepted a prohibited corporate in-kind contribution from HVEDC by using footage belonging to HVEDC in the Committee’s advertising. The complaint also alleged that if the original HVEDC video was produced for the purpose of creating footage for Eldridge and the Committee, then HVEDC made a prohibited coordinated expenditure on the Committee’s behalf. Eldridge was a 2014 candidate for New York’s 19th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: On March 15, 2016, the Commission found reason to believe that HVEDC made, and the Committee knowingly accepted, a prohibited in-kind contribution, and authorized an investigation. On May 10, 2018, the Commission closed the file.

MUR 6968

  • COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
  • RESPONDENTS: Tread Standard LLC (Tread Standard); Tierranueva LLC (Tierranueva); Jonathan Jaffe; Unknown Respondents; and Right to Rise USA, Inc. and Charles R. Spies, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee, an independent expenditure-only political committee, received two contributions totaling $175,000 that were attributed to Tread Standard and Tierranueva (for whom Jaffe is an agent), but the true sources of those funds were the individuals who own or operate Tread Standard and Tierranueva; as such, those individuals impermissibly made, the LLCs knowingly facilitated, and the Committee knowingly accepted, contributions in the name of another.  The complaint further alleged that Tread Standard and Tierranueva failed to register and report as a political committee despite meeting the statutory threshold.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6995

  • COMPLAINANT: Noah Bookbinder and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
  • RESPONDENT: Heather Oaks, LLC (Heather Oaks); Marvin C. Schwartz; Right to Rise USA and Charles R. Spies in his official capacity as treasurer (Right to Rise); TH Holdings LLC (TH Holdings); and Unknown Respondent
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Heather Oaks made a $100,000 contribution to Right to Rise, an independent expenditure-only political committee, but was not the true source of the contribution, and that Heather Oaks therefore knowingly facilitated a contribution in the name of another. The complaint further alleged that TH Holdings made a $100,000 contribution to Right to Rise but that Schwartz was the true source of the contribution, and therefore Schwartz made a contribution in the name of another and TH Holdings knowingly facilitated a contribution in the name of another.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. Vice Chair Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MURs 7014, 7017, 7019 &7090

  • COMPLAINANTS: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; Noah Bookbinder; Campaign Legal Center; Democracy 21; J. Gerald Hebert; Paul S. Ryan; Fred Wertheimer; Tara Malloy; and Daniel Levin
  • RESPONDENTS: DE First Holdings (DEFH); Vivek Garipalli; Coalition for Progress and Ana Rivas in her official capacity as treasurer; Décor Services, LLC; America Leads and Timothy Koch in his official capacity as treasurer; and Unknown Respondent
  • SUBJECT: Three complaints alleged that DEFH made a $1 million contribution to Coalition for Progress, an independent expenditure-only political committee, but was not the true source and that DEFH therefore knowingly facilitated a contribution in the name of another. The complaints also alleged that DEFH failed to register and report as a political committee despite meeting the statutory threshold for committee status. Two complaints also alleged that Décor Services, LLC made a $250,000 contribution to America Leads, an independent expenditure-only political committee, but that an unknown individual was the true source and that Décor Services, LLC therefore knowingly facilitated a contribution in the name of another.  One of the complaints also alleged that Coalition for Progress violated Commission regulations by failing to refund the $1 million contribution within 30 days of learning that it was made in the name of another.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. Vice Chair Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7136

  • COMPLAINANT: Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust
  • RESPONDENTS: Ted Strickland;  Strickland for Senate and Michael J. Johrendt, in his official capacity as treasurer (Strickland Committee) ; and Senate Majority PAC and Rebecca Lambe in her official capacity as treasurer (the PAC)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Strickland and the Strickland Committee coordinated advertisements with the PAC, an independent expenditure-only political committee, by placing information on a publicly available page of the Strickland Committee website for the purpose of directing the PAC to purchase advertisements in specific markets with specific messages. The complaint alleged that this activity resulted in excessive and prohibited in-kind contributions being made by the PAC to the Strickland Committee.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 7142

  • COMPLAINANT: Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust
  • RESPONDENTS: Evan Bayh; Evan Bayh Committee and Dennis Charles, in his official capacity as treasurer (Bayh Committee); and Senate Majority PAC and Rebecca Lambe, in her official capacity as treasurer (the PAC)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Bayh and the Bayh Committee coordinated advertisements with the PAC, an independent expenditure-only political committee by placing information on a publicly available page of the Bayh Committee campaign website for the purpose of directing the PAC to purchase advertisements in specific markets with specific messages. The complaint alleged that this activity resulted in excessive and prohibited in-kind contributions being made by the PAC to the Bayh Committee. 
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

Litigation

Rulemakings and agency procedures

  • On June 22, the Commission published a notice in the Federal Register to announce that the public hearing on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding internet disclaimers and the definition of public communication would be extended to a second day. Comments received in response to the Notice are available here

Outreach

  • On June 20, Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Assistant Staff Director, Reports Analysis Division, Debbie Chacona spoke about campaign finance and PAC compliance at a National Association of Business PACRap luncheon entitled, “A Dialogue with the FEC Chair: PAC Compliance and Other Campaign Finance Issues.”

Press Releases

Commissioner statements 

Commission meetings and hearings

  • June 26, 2018: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
  • June 27-28, 2018: The Commission will hold a public hearing on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding internet disclaimers and the Commission’s definition of public communications.
  • June 28, 2018: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

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

Upcoming reporting due dates

  • July 15: July Quarterly Reports are due. For more information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2018 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.
  • July 20: July Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2018 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Upcoming Educational Outreach

  • On June 27, the Commission will host a FECFile webinar for PACs and party committees.

Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach 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.

Printed copies of the 2018 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are now available. Contact the Commission's Information Division at (202) 694-1100 or (800) 424-9530 (press 6, when prompted) to order printed copies of the CFR at no charge. You may also email the Information Division to place an order at info@fec.gov.

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. To order a printed copy, please contact the FEC’s Public Records Office at 800/424-9530 (option 2) or 202/694-1120, or send an email to pubrec@fec.gov.

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.

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.