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  • Weekly Digests

Week of June 22-26, 2020

June 26, 2020

Commission meetings and hearings

On June 23 and 25, the Commission met in executive session.

Enforcement

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

MUR 6380

COMPLAINANTS: Melanie Sloan, Leonard Togman, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
RESPONDENTS: Friends of Christine O’Donnell and Matt Moran, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee): and Christine O’Donnell
SUMMARY: The complaint alleged that O’Donnell impermissibly used the Committee to pay various personal expenses in 2009 and 2010, including rent, utilities, automobile, meal, travel, and entertainment expenses in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act). O’Donnell was a candidate for U.S. Senate from Delaware in 2008 and 2010.
DISPOSITION: On May 23, 2012, the Commission found reason to believe that the Committee and O’Donnell had violated the Act’s prohibition on conversion of campaign funds to personal use and authorized the conciliation process. In 2014, the Commission found probable cause that O’Donnell and the Committee violated the Act. The Commission and the respondents were unable to reach acceptable conciliation agreements and as a result, the Commission filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on January 5, 2015. The court granted the Commission’s motion for summary judgment with regard to liability, concluding that Christine O’Donnell and the Committee impermissibly converted campaign funds to her personal use. In 2017, the court ordered O’Donnell to disgorge $5,701.85, ordered the defendants jointly to pay a penalty of $25,000, and entered a permanent injunction prohibiting defendants from engaging in further personal use violations.

Litigation

Lieu, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-5072) On June 23, Plaintiffs filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Outreach

On June 23-25, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub participated in the online conference “Collision from Home,” where she spoke on the role of social media in the 2020 election and safeguarding the election from foreign interference.

On June 24, the Commission hosted a FECFile webinar for PACs and parties.

On June 25, Commissioner Weintraub spoke via teleconference on campaign finance law and the role of the Commission with a class taught by Prof. Larry Noble at American University Washington College of Law.

Commissioner statements

On June 26, Commissioner Caroline C. Hunter issued a Resignation Letter.

Press releases

Caroline C. Hunter to depart Federal Election Commission (issued June 26)

Upcoming reporting due dates

July 15: July Quarterly reports are due. For more information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2020 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.

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

Upcoming Commission meeting dates

June 30 and July 2: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

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, updated on June 18, 2020, 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. Beginning June 18, the agency has entered the initial phase of reopening and return to normal operations. At this stage, most agency staff remain in telework status and the Commission’s office remains closed to visitors. During this phase, the FEC is resuming mail processing, including any mail delivered since the agency suspended its mail operations on March 17. However, the agency will not accept or process any documents or correspondence delivered by courier. Incoming mail, including non-electronically filed reports, advisory opinion requests, enforcement complaints, and court-case documents, will typically be processed on a weekly basis. Outgoing mail will be processed on a similar schedule.

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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