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  • Weekly Digests

Week of March 26 – March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018

Commission meetings and hearings

 No Commission meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

 Enforcement

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

 MURs 7112 and 7115

  • COMPLAINANT: Matthew Stevens; and David Fitzsimmons
  • RESPONDENTS: AJ Kern for Congress and John W. Kern, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); John W. Kern; The Boot Shack, Inc.; and Kevin Durken
  • SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that the Committee failed  to include required best efforts information in online solicitation forms and to timely and accurately report its activities, and that it received an excessive contribution from John Kern and a prohibited corporate contribution. AJ Kern was a 2016 primary candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe John Kern, the candidate’s husband, made and the Committee accepted excessive contributions because the candidate appears to have had sufficient personal funds to make the contributions to her committee. The Commission found no reason to believe John Kern made or the Committee accepted excessive cash contributions because John Kern does not appear to have been the contributor for the cash contributions at issue and the Commission has found no information contrary to the Committee’s assertion that it received no anonymous cash contribution over $50. The Commission further found no reason to believe the Committee violated the best efforts provisions because it appears that none of the contributions that the Committee had initially reported incorrectly exceeded $200. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the remaining allegations in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that (1) the Committee filed late reports within a few days of the filing deadline, (2) the amounts in violation were small, and (3) the Committee made remedial efforts.

 Alternative Dispute Resolution

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

 ADR 838

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: Stutzman for Senate and Christopher M. Marston in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The Committee failed to remedy excessive and prohibited contributions totaling $95,540.31 for the 2016 Primary Election and $775 for the 2016 General Election within the permissible timeframe.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $8,340 and work with Commission staff to terminate its political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission.

 ADR 845

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin Political Fund (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The Committee failed to file 48-Hour Reports totaling $116,898.08 to support two independent expenditures disclosed on the 2016 October Quarterly Report.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to certify that a representative of the organization participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC’s Information Division and pay a civil penalty of $5,850.

 Litigation

CREW, et al. v. FEC (18-cv-00076-RC)

On March 26, the Commission submitted an Answer in CREW, et. al. v. FEC to the complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief filed by plaintiffs on January 12, 2018.

Doe, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 17-2694 (ABJ))

On March 23, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Final Order and Judgment in Doe, et al. v. FEC. The Doe plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a stay or an injunction pending appeal.

 Rulemaking and agency procedures

 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

 On March 26, the Commission published Federal Register Notice 2018-06, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for REG 2011-02 (Internet Communication Disclaimers and Definition of “Public Communication”). The Commission requests comment on two alternative proposals to amend its regulations concerning disclaimers on public communications on the internet that contain express advocacy, solicit contributions, or are made by political committees. Comments must be submitted on or before May 25, 2018. The Commission will hold a public hearing on this notice on June 27, 2018.

 Press releases

 Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

  •  April 10, 2018: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
  •  April 12, 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

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

 Upcoming Educational programs

  •  On April 4, the Commission will host FECFile webinars for candidate committees, PACs, and party committees.
  •  On April 11, the Commission will host a webinar for candidates, their committee staff members, and others looking to understand rules related to federal candidate 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.

 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 has moved.

 This month, the Commission moved from 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC to 1050 First Street, NE, Washington, DC.

 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.

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