Commission meetings and hearings
On February 6 and 8, the Commission met in executive session.
On February 8, the Commission held an open meeting.
Advisory Opinion Request 2024-02 (Waters) On February 8, the Commission discussed and held over two drafts (Draft A and Draft B) of an advisory opinion in response to a request from Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Citizens for Waters concerning a proposal to design, publish, and mail brochures featuring the Congresswoman’s endorsements of federal and non-federal candidates, together with her positions of support for or opposition to ballot measures to be voted on the March 5, 2024, California primary ballot. The Requestors ask whether Congresswoman Waters and Citizens for Waters may accept reimbursements from non-federal candidates, state independent expenditure-only political committees, and state ballot measure committees using funds that do not exceed the applicable contribution limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and from sources that would not be prohibited under the Act. During the discussion, the Commission heard from Counsel for the Requestors. On February 7, the Commission received additional Supplemental Information from the requestor.
Advisory Opinion Request 2024-01 (Texas Majority PAC) On February 5, the Commission received a comment on the advisory opinion request.
The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Alma Espinoza
RESPONDENTS: LUPE Votes; LUPE PAC and Daniel Diaz, in his official capacity as treasurer (LUPE PAC); and Michelle Vallejo for Congress and Shayne Thoman, in his official capacity as treasurer (Vallejo Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that LUPE PAC made and the Vallejo Committee accepted an excessive in-kind contribution when they shared the cost of a poll, and that they and LUPE Votes, a nonprofit group organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, illegally coordinated their spending. The complaint alleged further that LUPE Votes failed to (1) timely file 24- and 48-hour reports of independent expenditures and (2) include in disclaimers a statement that the communications were not authorized by a candidate or a candidate’s committee. Michelle Vallejo was a 2022 candidate for Texas’s 15th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission dismissed the allegation that LUPE PAC made and the Vallejo Committee accepted an excessive in-kind contribution. The Commission found no reason to believe LUPE Votes made and the Vallejo Committee accepted prohibited in-kind contributions in the form of coordinated communications because the activity at issue did not meet the three-part test for coordinated communications. The Commission found reason to believe that LUPE Votes failed to timely file independent expenditure reports and to include in disclaimers a statement that the communications were not authorized by a candidate or a candidate’s committee, and entered into a conciliation agreement providing for LUPE Votes to pay a civil penalty of $8,500.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Commission made public two closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
RESPONDENT: Communications Workers of America—COPE Political Communications Committee and Ameenah Salaam, in 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 the Committee failed to disclose or adequately disclose the occupation and name of employer information for 18,702 contributions from individuals, totaling $670,717, during calendar years 2019 and 2020.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to develop and certify the implementation and distribution of a policy document to be provided to the Committee’s staff and collecting agents detailing the Committee’s procedures for ensuring “best efforts” are used to obtain contributor information, certify that a Committee representative participated in an FEC training program, and pay a civil penalty of $3,750.
RESPONDENT: WY Democratic State Central Committee and Mary D. Haper, in 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 the Committee made a series of reporting errors and other violations during the 2021-2022 election cycle including, among other items, prohibited and other impermissible contributions or transfers, mathematical discrepancies, failure to provide supporting schedules, and allocated federal and non-federal activity.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to certify that it had amended relevant 2021-2022 reports after consultation with the Commission’s Reports Analysis Division, develop and certify implementation of a process to track receipt of, and response to, communications with the Commission, certify that a Committee representative participated in an FEC training program, and pay a civil penalty of $5,500.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Madison Project, Inc. On February 8, the Commission approved an Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Madison Project Inc., covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020. The Commission approved a finding related to disclosure of occupation and name of employer.
Regulations and agency procedures
REG 2014-10 and REG 2019-04 - Draft Notice of Inquiry for Segregated Party Accounts On February 8, the Commission approved a Notice of Inquiry in response to two petitions that asked the Commission to issue new rules and to revise its existing rules regarding the segregated accounts of national party committees. The Commission invites comments on both petitions and the Notice. A Federal Register Notice will be published at a future date announcing the comment period.
On February 4, Commissioner James E. “Trey” Trainor, III, at the invitation of the Supreme Electoral Court of Costa Rica, served as an international observer for the municipal elections in Costa Rica.
On February 6, Public Affairs Specialist Myles Martin spoke with journalism students at The George Washington University in Washington, DC about the FEC’s disclosure systems and accessing campaign finance data and reports.
FEC approves Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum, Notice of Inquiry (issued February 8)
Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings
February 27, 2024: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
February 29, 2024: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
March 12, 2024: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
March 14, 2024: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational opportunities
February 27-28, 2024: The Commission will host a webinar for candidates and their campaign committees.
March 12-13, 2024: The Commission will host a webinar for political party committees.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
February 20: February Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2024 Monthly Reporting schedule.
Additional research materials
Election Dates. The Commission has posted Preliminary 2024 Presidential and Congressional Primary Dates, which are subject to change.
Federal Elections 2020: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is now available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.
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 Presidential Election Campaign Fund Tax Checkoff Chart provides information on balance of the Fund, monthly deposits into the Fund reported by the Department of the Treasury, payments from the Fund as certified by the FEC, and participation rates of taxpayers as reported by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information on the Presidential Public Funding Program, see the Public Funding of Presidential Elections page.
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. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.