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  • Weekly Digests

Week of April 29 – May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-05 (System73). On May 3, the Commission made public a draft of Advisory Opinion 2019-05. System73, an incorporated communications technology network, asks whether it may pay a political committee a “license fee” for the exclusive rights to livestream the committee’s political event.

Enforcement

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

MUR 6596

  • COMPLAINANTS: Obama for America; and the Democratic National Committee
  • RESPONDENT: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Crossroads GPS failed to organize, register, and report as a political committee during the 2012 election cycle even though it made and reported expenditures exceeding the Act’s $1,000 threshold for political committee status and purportedly had the “major purpose” of influencing federal candidate elections.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On May 3, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6798

  • COMPLAINANTS: Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21
  • RESPONDENTS: The Fund for Louisiana’s Future and Charles Spies, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Fund); David Vitter for U.S. Senate and William Vanderbrook, in his official capacity as treasurer; David Vitter; Lisa Spies; and Courtney Guastella
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Fund, an independent-expenditure-only political committee that supported Vitter’s candidacies for Governor of Louisiana in 2015 and reelection to Louisiana’s United States Senate seat in 2016, impermissibly solicited non-federal funds, and that Vitter, his principal campaign committee David Vitter for U.S. Senate, and his agents Guastella and Spies impermissibly solicited, raised and spent non-federal funds (“soft money”) for the Fund.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On May 3, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6908

  • COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
  • RESPONDENTS: National Republican Congressional Committee and Keith Davis, in his official capacity as treasurer (NRCC); American Action Network (AAN); and American Crossroads and Caleb Crosby, in his official capacity as treasurer (American Crossroads)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that in the run-up to the November 2014 elections, NRCC employees posted polling results for certain Congressional races on two anonymous Twitter accounts, and that employees of AAN and American Crossroads reviewed the postings. The complaint further alleged that the polling data provided by the NRCC influenced the expenditure decisions of AAN and American Crossroads, which spent millions of dollars in connection with the 2014 Congressional elections. As a result, the complaint alleged that (1) the NRCC made in-kind contributions to AAN and American Crossroad, (2) AAN and American Crossroads financed prohibited communications benefitting the NRCC, and (3) the transactions were not disclosed as required by the Act.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On May 3, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioner Caroline C. Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

MURs 7403 and 7441

  • COMPLAINANT: Art Halvorson; and John H. Eichelberger
  • RESPONDENTS: Dr. John Joyce for Congress and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (Joyce Committee); and Defending Main Street SuperPAC, Inc. and Sarah Chamberlain, in her official capacity as treasurer (Defending Main Street)
  • SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that Defending Main Street, an independent expenditure-only political committee, impermissibly coordinated communications with the Joyce Committee through the use of a common vendor. Joyce was a 2018 candidate for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

Audits

Hall for Congress. On April 30, the Commission issued the Final Audit Report of the Commission on Hall for Congress, covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016. The Commission approved findings relating to receipt of contributions in excess of the limit and use of general election contributions for primary expenditures.

Regulations and agency procedures

Interim Final Rule on Senate Filing. On May 2, the Interim Final Rule on Point of Entry for All Campaign Finance Reports was published in the Federal Register. The Commission is accepting comments on the Interim Rule and comments received may be addressed in a subsequent rulemaking. Comments must be received on or before June 3, 2019.

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 reporting due dates

May 20, 2019: May Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Upcoming educational programs

  • On May 22, Commission staff will host a webinar for political party committees.
  • On June 12, Commission staff will host a webinar for candidates and their authorized committees.

Additional research materials

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.

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.

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 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 media has not been authorized by the FEC.