Commission meetings and hearings
On January 10 and 12, the Commission met in executive session.
On January 12, the Commission held an open meeting.
Advisory Opinion Issued
Advisory Opinion 2022-25 (Crapo) On January 12, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from Crapo for U.S. Senate, the principal campaign committee of Senator Michael D. Crapo. The Commission concluded that Senator Crapo may use campaign funds to install certain security features in his homes in Washington, D.C. and Idaho because they would be ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the Senator’s duties as an officeholder.
Regulations and agency procedures
Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Public Comments. On January 9, the Commission published in the Federal Register a Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Public Comments on its policies and procedures regarding the auditing of political committees that do not receive public funds. The Commission plans to hold a hearing on these procedures on a future date, which the Commission will announce by publishing a hearing notice in the Federal Register. Those who wish to submit comments must do so by February 8, 2023. All comments must be in writing and may be submitted by email to email@example.com.
REG 2013-01 Technological Modernization. On January 10, the Commission made public eight comments that it received in response to its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on previously proposed rules that would modernize the agency’s regulations in light of technological advances in communications, recordkeeping, and financial transactions.
The Commission made public three closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Daniel Baer
RESPONDENTS: Cory Gardner for Senate and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Senate Leadership Fund and Caleb Crosby, in his official capacity as treasurer (SLF); and Cory Gardner
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that SLF, an independent expenditure-only political committee, made and Gardner and the Committee knowingly accepted prohibited in-kind corporate contributions when SLF paid for the cost of a bulk text message and a WinRed page soliciting contributions earmarked for Gardner, and that SLF failed to report the expenditures. The complaint alleged further that SLF impermissibly facilitated the making of contributions to the Committee through the WinRed solicitation.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter. The Commission observed the speculative nature of the allegations and the low dollar amount at issue.
RESPONDENT: Renacci for US Senate and Russell Corwin, in his 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 report receipts and disbursements during the 2018 election cycle. James Renacci was a 2018 candidate for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $16,500.
COMPLAINANT: Matthew Buckham; and American Accountability Foundation
RESPONDENT: Swalwell for Congress and Jerome C. Pandell, in his official capacity as Treasurer (the Committee); and Eric Michael Swalwell
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee and Swalwell converted campaign funds to personal use when it spent campaign funds on travel, entertainment, food and beverages, and childcare. The complaint further alleged that the Committee failed to disburse campaign funds from its depository account by pre-loading a Starbucks card and failed to properly report these disbursements. Swalwell was a 2022 candidate for California’s 14th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission dismissed the allegations that the respondents converted campaign funds to personal use and exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegations that the respondents spent campaign funds on childcare. The Commission found no reason to believe that the Committee disbursed campaign funds outside of its depository or failed to adequately report disbursements. The Commission observed that the alleged disbursements were related either to Swalwell’s own election campaigns or his official position as a congressman, and there was no information that the Committee did anything improper in disbursing campaign funds from its depository to pre-pay charges made to its Starbucks account, or in reporting those disbursements.
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: Weber for Congress and Robert D. Nolen, 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 that the Committee received excessive contributions from individuals totaling $51,212 in the 2019-2020 election cycle that it failed to remedy in the required timeframe.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) develop and certify implementation of a policy document detailing the Committee’s process to ensure receipts are timely reviewed and all excessive contributions are timely remedied ,2) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual that includes internal controls, 3) participate in an FEC training program, and 4) pay a civil penalty of $3,825.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Jim Risch for U.S. Senate Committee On January 9, the Commission approved on tally vote an Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Jim Risch for U.S. Senate Committee, covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020. The Commission approved findings related to Misstatement of Financial Activity, Receipt of Contributions in Excess of the Limit, and Failure to File 48-hour notices.
Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-2336) On January 6, the Commission filed a Reply in Support of Motion for Stay of Remand Order Pending Appeal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
CREW v. FEC (Case No. 22-3281) On January 6, Proposed Intervenor-Defendant American Action Network filed an Unopposed Motion to Intervene and Memorandum in Support, and a Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Also on January 6, the Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion to Dismiss in the District Court.
National Republican Senatorial Committee et al. v. FEC (Case No. 22-639) On January 9, the Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue or, In the Alternative, Transfer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
FEC approves advisory opinion, Audit Division recommendation memorandum (issued January 12)
Upcoming Commission meetings
January 24, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
January 26, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
January 24, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host FECFile and reporting webinars for PACs and party committees.
January 25, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host FECFile and reporting webinars for candidate committees.
February 14-15, 2023: The Commission will host a webinar for corporations and their PACs.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
The Commission is accepting applications for the position of Coding Clerk. For more information, see the job posting.
Additional research materials
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.