Week of January 30-February 3, 2023
Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
Advisory Opinion 2022-04 (Allen Blue) On February 1, Commissioners Shana M. Broussard and Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement Regarding Advisory Opinion 2022-24 (Allen Blue).
The Commission made public three closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Hansel J. McCadams
RESPONDENT: Flinn for Congress f/k/a Friends of George Flinn and Lonnie Treadaway, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee disclosed inadequate or incomplete purposes of certain disbursements to vendors on its 2018 disclosure reports. Flinn was a 2018 candidate for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $36,000.
COMPLAINANT: Rob Secaur, Executive Director, Ohio Republican Party
RESPONDENT: Ohio Democratic Party and Patricia Frost-Brooks, in her official capacity as treasurer (ODP); Alaina Shearer for Congress and Scott M. Hubay, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Shearer Committee); and Gem City Rise PAC (f/k/a Friends of Desiree Tims) and Scott M. Hubay, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Tims Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that what appeared to be ODP salary payments to candidates Shearer and Tims were an impermissible personal use of campaign funds and that ODP misreported its apparent subsidy of the Shearer and Tims campaigns as state party payroll expenses. Tims and Shearer were 2020 candidates for Ohio’s 10th and 12th Congressional Districts, respectively.
DISPOSITION: On April 26, 2022, the Commission found reason to believe the Shearer Committee and Gem City Rise PAC failed to accurately report salary payments to specific campaign committee employees that were made indirectly using the ODP as a payroll processor. On November 30, 2022, the Commission closed the file. Commissioners Broussard and Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.
COMPLAINANT: Campaign Legal Center
RESPONDENTS: Gun Owners Action Fund and Nancy H. Watkins in her official capacity as Treasurer (GOAF); SIG SAUER, Inc. (SIG); and Daniel Defense, LLC (Daniel Defense)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that SIG violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), by making a $100,000 contribution to GOAF, an independent expenditure-only political committee, while it was a federal contractor. The complaint also raised questions as to whether GOAF knowingly solicited a prohibited contribution from a federal contractor. In the course of analyzing the complaint, the Commission sent an additional notification to Daniel Defense, another federal government contractor that had made a $100,000 contribution to GOAF.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for SIG to pay a civil penalty of $19,000. The Commission closed the file in connection with the allegations concerning GOAF and Daniel Defense. Vice Chairman Sean J. Cooksey and Commissioners Allen Dickerson and James E. “Trey” Trainor III and Commissioner Weintraub issued Statements of Reasons.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
RESPONDENT: PA Stands Up Political Action and Carrie Santoro, in official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe the Committee failed to 1) disclose all financial activity on its 2020 12-Day Pre-General Report; 2) timely file one 48-Hour Report to support two independent expenditures independent expenditures disclosed on its Amended 2020 12-Day Pre-General Report; 3) disclose all financial activity on its 2020 30-Day Post-General Report; 4) timely file one 24-Hour Report totaling $89,410.59 to support one independent expenditure disclosed on its Amended 2020 30-Day Post-General Report; and 5) disclose all financial activity on its 2020 Year-End Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) certify annually for two years that it continued to retain the services of a compliance team; 2) certify that a representative participated in an FEC training program; and 3) pay a civil penalty of $29,000.
Updated Contribution and Coordinated Party Expenditure Limits and Lobbyist Bundling Threshold. On February 2, the Commission published updated contribution limits for the 2023-2024 election cycle in the Federal Register. During the current two-year election cycle the limit for contributions by individuals to federal candidates for President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives will increase to $3,300 per election. The limit for contributions by individuals and nonmulticandidate PACs to national party committees has risen to $41,300 per calendar year. The Commission also updated the coordinated party expenditure limits and the lobbyist bundling threshold for 2023.
Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-2336) On February 1, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, denying the Commission’s Motion for a Stay of Remand Order Pending Appeal.
CREW v. FEC (Case No. 22-3281) On January 27, Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant Federal Election Commission’s Motion to Dismiss and Intervenor American Action Network’s Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
End Citizens United PAC v. FEC (Case No. 22-5277) On February 1, Amicus Curiae Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a Brief of Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiff-Appellant in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
National Republican Senatorial Committee, et al. v. FEC, et al. (Case No. 22-639) On January 30, Plaintiffs filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue or, in the Alternative, Transfer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Palmer v. FEC (Case No. 22-2876) On February 2, Plaintiff filed a Response to Government’s Motion to Dismiss Under FRCP 12(b)(1) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Ready For Ron v. FEC (Case No. 22-3282) On January 27, the Commission filed an Answer, and on February 1, filed an Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
FEC announces 2023-2024 campaign cycle contribution limits (issued February 2)
On February 21, Commissioner Broussard and Chairman Thomas Hicks of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will host a Black History Month conversation with election experts. Topics will include the future of multiracial democracy, diversifying the candidate pool, and barriers to casting a meaningful vote, among others.
Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings
February 7 and 9, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
The Commission voted to cancel the open meeting scheduled for February 9.
February 14, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold a hybrid public hearing on audit procedures for non-publicly funded political committees.
Upcoming educational programs
February 14-15, 2023: The Commission will host a webinar for corporations and their PACs.
February 22, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host an FECConnect OnTopic session on Filing a Termination Report.
March 14-15, 2023: The Commission will host a webinar for membership and labor organizations and their PACs.
March 22, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host an FECConnect OnTopic session on 2023-2024 Contribution Limits.
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 2023 Monthly Reporting schedule.
Additional research materials
Contribution Limits. In addition to the current limits, the Commission has posted an archive of contribution limits that were in effect going back to the 1975-1976 election cycles.
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.
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.
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.