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  • Weekly Digests

Week of July 15 – 19, 2019

July 19, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory opinions

Drafts

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-10 (Price for Congress)

On July 17, 2019, the Commission made public a draft of AO 2019-10. The requestor, Price for Congress, the principal campaign committee for retired Representative Dr. Thomas Price, asks whether it may contribute committee assets to a non-profit organization and whether that organization may engage in certain activities if Dr. Price will serve as its president and CEO.

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-11 (Pro-Life Democratic Candidate PAC)

On July 18, 2019, the Commission made public a draft of AO 2019-11 and supplemental material from the requestor. The Pro-Life Democratic Candidate PAC, a non-connected political committee, asks whether and under what conditions it may accept contributions earmarked for a yet-unnamed Democratic candidate for President who meets endorsement and experience criteria.

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-13 (Mary Jennings Hegar & MJ for Texas)

On July 17, the Commission made public a draft of AO 2019-13. The requestor, Mary Jennings (MJ) Hegar, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, asks whether campaign funds may be used to pay for a portion of full-time daycare expenses for her children.

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-14 (Arizona Libertarian Party)

On July 17, the Commission made public a draft of AO 2019-14. The requestor, the Arizona Libertarian Party (AZLP), asks whether it may transfer funds to the National Libertarian Party and if so, would such a transfer require the AZLP to register and report as a political committee.

Enforcement

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

MUR 6865

  • COMPLAINANT: Stephen Meade
  • RESPONDENTS: U.S. Representative Juan Vargas; Vargas for Congress and Nancy Haley, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Jose Susumo Azano Matsura (Azano); Marc Alan Chase; and Ernesto Encinas
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Azano, a foreign national acting through his agents Encinas and Chase, made a $30,000 federal contribution to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and over $575,000 in direct and in-kind local political donations in the names of other persons. The complaint alleged that Azano’s contribution to the DCCC was made in Chase’s name and was purportedly for the benefit of Rep. Vargas.
  • DISPOSITION: On August 11, 2015, the Commission found reason to believe that Azano made prohibited foreign national contributions in the name of another. The Commission also found reason to believe that Chase and Encinas knowingly and willfully violated the prohibition on contributions by foreign nationals in connection with federal, state, and local elections and the prohibition on contributions in the name of another. On July 17, 2018, the Commission found reason to believe that Azano had knowingly and willfully violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and found no reason to believe that Rep. Vargas or the Committee knowingly accepted prohibited contributions. The Commission closed the file as to Chase and Encinas, who had pled guilty in federal court to related criminal charges. On June 12, 2019, the Commission voted to take no further action as to Azano, who had been convicted of related criminal charges in 2016, which were affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and closed the file.

MURs 6940, 7097, 7146, 7160 & 7193

  • COMPLAINANTS: Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust; Dr. Jack A. Shulman; Campaign Legal Center; William Pflaum; and Jill Stein
  • RESPONDENTS: Correct the Record and Elizabeth Cohen, in her official capacity as treasurer (CTR); Hillary for America and Elizabeth Jones, in her official capacity as treasurer (HFA); Priorities USA Action and Greg Speed, in his official capacity as treasurer (Priorities USA); David Brock; Hillary Rodham Clinton; DNC Services Corp./DNC and William Q. Derrough, in his official capacity as treasurer (DNC); Charlie Baker; John Podesta; Robby Mook; Dennis Cheng; Elizabeth Christina Reynolds; Karen Finney; Mary Pat Bonner; and American Bridge 21st Century and Rodell Mollineau, in his official capacity as treasurer (American Bridge)
  • SUBJECT: The five complaints alleged that CTR made and HFA accepted impermissible in-kind contributions by coordinating on CTR’s activities in support of Clinton. Certain of the complaints alleged further that American Bridge and the DNC impermissibly coordinated with HFA, and that CTR and Priorities USA had impermissible financial backing by foreign nationals. Clinton was a 2016 presidential candidate.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 7073

  • COMPLAINANT: Karen Schutte
  • RESPONDENTS: Alexander Meluskey; Meluskey for U.S. Senate, Inc. and Julianne Ryan, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Salem Media Group, Inc.; Prescott Valley Broadcasting Co., Inc.; and Premier Radio Stations, LLC
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Meluskey, a 2016 candidate for Arizona’s United States Senate seat, and the Committee failed to disclose disbursements for printing expenses and the source of loans Meluskey made to his campaign. The complaint further alleged that Meluskey used his weekly talk radio show to engage in campaign activity, which caused the show’s funder or funders to make contributions to the Committee, which the Committee failed to disclose.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Meluskey and the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $4,000. The Commission found no reason to believe that the Committee failed to disclose disbursements for printing because the Commission observed that the Committee’s reports disclosed numerous disbursements for printing-related expenses and there was no information available to suggest that the Committee’s disclosure was incomplete. The Commission voted to close the file with respect to Salem Media Group, Inc., Prescott Valley Broadcasting Co., Inc., and Premier Radio Stations, LLC. Former Commissioner Lee E. Goodman issued a Statement of Reasons regarding the radio stations and a Statement of Reasons regarding the Committee, both dated February 12, 2018.

MUR 7451

  • COMPLAINANT: Campaign Legal Center
  • RESPONDENTS: Ring Power Corporation (Ring Power); and New Republican PAC and Julie Dozier, in her official capacity as treasurer (New Republican PAC)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Ring Power, a federal government contractor, made a $50,000 contribution to New Republican PAC, an independent expenditure-only political committee, in violation of the prohibition on contributions from federal contractors.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Ring Power to pay a civil penalty of $9,500. The Commission found no reason to believe New Republican PAC knowingly solicited federal contractor contributions because there was no information available to indicate that it solicited the prohibited contribution at issue, and closed the file.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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

ADR 872

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: McSally for Congress and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Committee untimely resolved excessive contributions totaling $319,212 and failed to itemize contributions from political committees totaling $32,750 during the 2013-2014 election cycle. Martha McSally was a 2014 candidate for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $23,400 and continue to file regular reports until the Commission files a Termination Report.

ADR 895

  • COMPLAINANT: Campaign Legal Center
  • RESPONDENTS: Haworth, Inc. (Haworth); and Outsider PAC and Julie Dozier, in her official capacity as treasurer (Outsider PAC)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Haworth, a federal contractor, made a $10,000 contribution to Outsider PAC, an independent expenditure-only political committee, in violation of the prohibition on contributions from federal contractors in connection with federal elections.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in furtherance of Commission priorities, noting that Outsider PAC was likely unaware of Haworth’s status as a federal contractor, and the fact that Haworth had requested and received a refund from Outsider PAC for the full amount of the contribution within 30 days of when the contribution was originally received by the PAC.

Litigation

Outreach

  • On July 17, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub discussed the role and work of the Commission with a delegation of young leaders from Lebanon visiting the United States as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

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

  • July 20: July Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
  • July 31: Mid-Year reports are due. For more information on semi-annual reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Semi-Annual Reporting page of the Commission website. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, July 31 to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports.

Upcoming educational programs

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 2019 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are 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.

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.

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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.

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