Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
The Commission made public two closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Peter Waldron
RESPONDENTS: Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee Inc. and Deana Vetters, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Kent Sorenson; Dimitri Kesari; and Designer Goldsmith, Inc.
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and Commission regulations when the Committee accepted a prohibited in-kind contribution after Kesari and Designer Goldsmith gave a corporate check to Sorenson, a then-Iowa State Senator, to secure Sorenson’s endorsement of Paul’s presidential 2012 campaign bid. The complaint further alleged that the Committee failed to properly disclose disbursements on its campaign finance disclosure reports.
DISPOSITION: On June 16, 2016, based on the available information including Sorenson’s sworn admission in connection with a criminal investigation, the Commission found reason to believe Kesari and Designer Goldsmith, Inc. knowingly and willfully made, and the Committee knowingly and willfully accepted, a prohibited, in-kind corporate contribution. The Commission also found reason to believe the Committee knowingly and willfully violated the Act by failing to report properly its disbursements to the Commission. On March 19, 2019, the Commission authorized pre-probable cause conciliation with the Committee and with Designer Goldsmith and voted to close the file in connection with Sorenson and Kesari. On January 11, 2022, the Commission closed the file in the matter. Commissioners Shana M. Broussard and Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.
RESPONDENTS: Friends of David Schweikert and Valerie Giramberk, in her official capacity as Treasurer (the Committee); Chartwell Associates LLC; and Richard Oliver Schwab
SUBJECT: This matter was generated by a sua sponte submission identifying potential violations of the Act resulting from disclosure reports the Committee filed with the Commission containing insufficiently detailed purposes of disbursements and inaccurate payee information. While this matter was pending before the Commission, the Committee on Ethics of the U.S. House of Representatives issued a report following an investigation into alleged ethical violations of Schweikert and his committees, including activity that was the subject of the sua sponte submission and other activity subject to the Act. Schweikert has served as the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 5th or 6th District from 2011 through the present. Schwab is former chief of staff and campaign manager for Schweikert, and Chartwell LLC is Schwab’s single-member LLC.
DISPOSITION: Based on the available information, the Commission found reason to believe that the Committee knowingly and willfully violated the Act and Commission regulations by misreporting the purpose and payees of disbursements and converting campaign funds to personal use. The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to 1) pay a civil penalty of $125,000, 2) amend its campaign finance reports to accurately disclose payee and purpose of disbursement information, and 3) cease and desist from violating the named provisions of the Act. The Commission found reason to believe Schwab failed to maintain records of disbursements made by the Committee. The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Schwab to pay a civil penalty of $7,500.
Proposed Final Audit Report on the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee. In a tally vote on February 9, the Commission approved the Proposed Final Audit Report on the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. The Commission approved findings relating to contributions from unregistered political organizations, recordkeeping for employees, and reporting of debts and obligations.
Republican Party of Minnesota – Federal. On February 11, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Republican Party of Minnesota – Federal, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018. The Commission approved findings relating to recordkeeping for employees, recordkeeping for communications, disclosure of transfers and allocation ratios, and disclosure of loans and loan repayments.
Wisconsin Family Action v. FEC (Case No. 21-1373) On February 4, Plaintiff filed a Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction and on February 7, the Commission filed an Answer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Green Bay Division. On February 8, the court heard oral arguments on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
On February 8-9, the Commission hosted a Virtual Campaign Finance Conference. Chairman Allen Dickerson and Commissioner Weintraub provided commentary in workshops on recent developments.
Upcoming Commission meetings
February 15 and 17, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
February 17, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
On February 23, the Commission will host an FECConnect On Topic session on 2022 filing dates.
On March 9 and 16, the Commission will host webinars on independent expenditures.
On March 23, the Commission will host a webinar for candidate 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 2022 Monthly Reporting schedule.
Status of agency operations
See the Commission’s statement on the status of agency operations, updated on April 15, 2021. At this stage, most agency staff remain in telework status and the Commission’s office remains closed to visitors. See also the agency’s Workplace Safety Plan, dated May 6, 2021.
Updated Campaign Guide
The Commission recently updated its Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees. The new Guide, which replaces the 2014 edition, provides an overall summary of the federal campaign finance laws that apply to candidates for the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate and their campaign committees.
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 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.