Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
Advisory Opinion Request 2021-05 (Tally Up, LLC). On March 17, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from Tally Up, LLC. Tally Up asks whether it may use certain aggregated contribution data derived from FEC reports in its data services to candidates. The Commission must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by May 17, 2021.
Regulations and agency procedures
Draft Interpretive Rule on Use of Campaign Funds by Members of Congress for Personal and Residential Security. On March 19, the Commission made public a Revised Draft Interpretive Rule on Use of Campaign Funds by Members of Congress for Personal and Residential Security. On March 18, the Commission made public one comment on the draft interpretive rule, and on March 19, it made public another comment.
The Commission made public two closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
RESPONDENT: Kansas Democratic Party and Gina Long, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe that the Committee failed to 1) provide itemized contributor information for contributions received through joint fundraising, 2) accurately disclose debts, 3) accurately report cash-on-hand, and 4) disclose $1,904,764.58 in increased activity on its 2016 12-Day Pre-General Report.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $60,000 and to require appropriate Committee personnel to attend a Commission-sponsored training program for state and local political party committees. Chair Shana M. Broussard and Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub issued Statements of Reasons.
Public Citizen, et al. v FEC (Case No. 14-00148) On March 17, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, granting the Commission’s motion for summary judgment and denying Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.
District Court issues opinion in Public Citizen, et al. v FEC (issued March 17)
On March 15, Commissioner James E. “Trey” Trainor III spoke with Ioana Vitan from the London School of Economics and Political Science concerning how to engage voters more in the legislative process. The London School of Economics is working with national legislatures using artificial intelligence to encourage voters and citizens to directly communicate with elected legislators on issues of concern to them beyond election day. Commissioner Trainor addressed this kind of increasing activity in the United States within certain state legislatures, with the aim of giving citizens a greater sense of ownership in the legislative process.
On March, 18, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub testified via videoconference before the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee of the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill that would bar foreign-influenced corporations from spending in state elections.
On March 19, Commissioner Weintraub testified via videoconference before the Government Administration and Elections Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly in support of a bill that would allow publicly matched campaign funds to be spent on campaign-related childcare costs.
Upcoming Commission meetings
March 23 and 25, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
March 25, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
March 24, 2021: The Commission will hold a webinar for membership and labor organizations and their PACs.
April 7, 2021: The Commission will host a FECFile webinar for candidate committees and a workshop on registration and Form 1 for PACs and parties.
August 17-18, 2021: The Commission will host a Regional Hybrid Conference in Denver, CO.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
March 20: March Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2021 Monthly Reporting schedule.
Status of agency operations
See the Commission’s statement on the status of agency operations, updated on January 4, 2021. At this stage, most agency staff remain in telework status and the Commission’s office remains closed to visitors.
Additional research materials
2020 Presidential General Election Results and Federal Elections 2018: Election Results for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are available. The data 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 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 currently. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.