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  • Weekly Digests

Week of November 6 – November 10, 2017

November 9, 2017

Commission meetings and hearings

Advisory opinions

Request received

Advisory Opinion Request 2017-12 (Take Back Action Fund)

On November 8, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2017-12 (Take Back Action Fund).  The requestor asks whether and how the disclaimer requirements apply to its proposed paid Facebook video and image ads. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than November 20) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by January 8, 2018.

 Enforcement

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

MUR 7041

  • COMPLAINANT: Mark Gilliam
  • RESPONDENTS: United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada Local 469 (Local 469); Arizona Pipe Trades Local 469 and Aaron Butler, in his official capacity as treasurer (State Committee); Arizona Pipe Trades Local 469 PAC and Phillip McNally, in his official capacity as treasurer; United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 469 Federal Political Action Committee (Arizona Pipe Trades Fed. PAC) and Aaron Butler, in his official capacity as treasurer; Aaron Butler; Phillip McNally; and Israel G. Torres 
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Local 469 and its three connected political committees coercively solicited contributions from members since at least 2011. The complaint also alleged that the State Committee triggered federal political committee status in 2011 by raising and spending money to influence federal elections but failed to register or file disclosure reports with the Commission at that time.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found reason to believe Local 469 and Arizona Pipe Trades Fed. PAC failed to inform employees of their right to refuse to make a contribution without reprisals by (1) using a deficient payroll authorization form and (2) maintaining and publishing a list of those who did not contribute in conjunction with verbal solicitations. The Commission consequently entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Local 469 and Arizona Pipe Trades Fed. PAC to pay a civil penalty of $21,000. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegation against Local 469 and the State Committee in connection with the State Committee’s failure to register with the Commission in 2011. The Commission observed that the State Committee registered with the Commission roughly nine months after it triggered federal political committee status, made no other federal contributions in the intervening period, and disclosed all of its transactions to the public via registration as the Arizona State PAC and its disclosures to the Arizona Secretary of State. The Commission dismissed the allegations in connection with Butler, McNally, and Torres in their personal capacities.

Rulemaking and agency procedures

  • REG 2011-02: Internet Communication Disclaimers. On November 9, the Commission extended the comment period on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Internet Communication Disclaimers until 11:59 p.m. on November 13.
  • FEC Email Management Policy. On November 8, the Commission approved a new email management policy, which requires that the email records of so-called Capstone officials be retained at the agency as permanent records for 25 years after creation or receipt before being transferred to the National Archive. Capstone officials include Commissioners, their executive assistants, and other high-level staff whose emails contain a high level of deliberative or sensitive information. The new policy is intended to fulfill the Commission’s obligations under the National Archives and Records Administration guidelines.

 Press releases

 FEC Adopts New Email Management Policy (issued November 8)

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

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


Upcoming educational programs

  • November 14-15: Washington, DC Regional Conference for candidates, parties and separate segregated funds. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.
  • December 6: Nonconnected PAC Webinar. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

 Upcoming reporting due dates

  • November 20: November Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
  •  December 20: December Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
  • The Commission has posted the filing deadlines for the Special Election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

Additional research materials

The Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing 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 2017 edition of the Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available on the new Commission website. 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.

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.