skip navigation
  • Weekly Digests

Week of July 8 – 12, 2019

July 12, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

Advisory Opinions

Opinions issued

Advisory Opinion 2019-08 (Omar2020)

On July 11, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from Omar2020, a congressional campaign committee. The Commission concluded that the committee’s proposal to distribute valueless digital blockchain tokens as an incentive to engage in volunteer activities is permissible under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), because they are materially indistinguishable from traditional forms of campaign souvenirs and the campaign-created tokens have no monetary value.

Advisory Opinion 2019-09 (Mad Dog PAC)

On July 11, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from Mad Dog PAC, a nonconnected committee. The Commission concluded that the committee may sell t-shirts bearing the facial likenesses and names of certain candidates because the committee will treat the full amount of the proceeds it receives from the sales as contributions and will comply with the applicable disclaimer, source and amount restrictions, and reporting requirements of the Act.

Advisory Opinion 2019-12 (Area 1 Security, Inc. II)

On July 11, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from Area 1 Security, Inc. The Commission concluded that Area 1’s proposal to offer cybersecurity services to federal candidates and political committees under a low- to no-cost pricing system is permissible under the Act and would not result in prohibited in-kind contributions because Area 1 would offer the services in the ordinary course of business and on the same terms and conditions as offered to similarly-situated non-political clients.

Enforcement

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

MUR 7263

  • COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
  • RESPONDENTS: Allen Lucas “Luke” Messer; and I Like Luke (f/k/a Luke Messer for Congress) and Craig Kunkle, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Rep. Messer and the Committee violated the registration and reporting requirements of the Act by failing to file a Statement of Candidacy in connection with testing-the-waters activities that Messer undertook in connection with his 2018 campaign for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegations in consideration of Commission priorities. Chair Ellen L. Weintraub, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen, and Commissioners Caroline C. Hunter and Steven T. Walther issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7264

  • COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
  • RESPONDENTS: Theodore “Todd” Rokita; and Hoosiers for Rokita and Michael J. Erler Sr., in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Rep. Rokita and the Committee violated the registration and reporting requirements of the Act by failing to file a Statement of Candidacy in connection with testing-the-waters activities that Rokita undertook in connection with his 2018 campaign for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that Rokita failed to timely file a Statement of Candidacy for the Senate race and exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the remaining allegations in consideration of Commission priorities. Chair Weintraub, Vice Chairman Petersen, and Commissioners Hunter and Walther issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7416

  • COMPLAINANT: Richard Frank
  • RESPONDENTS: Unknown respondents
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that in or before May 2018, an unknown person disseminated an unauthorized mailer advocating for Bryan Maryott without including a disclaimer or otherwise identifying who paid for the mailer. Maryott was a 2018 candidate for California’s 49th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 7534

  • COMPLAINANTS: Ryan Bennett and Michigan Democratic Party
  • RESPONDENTS: William P. Huizenga; Huizenga for Congress and David Nienhuis, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Natalie Huizenga; and James Barry
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Rep. Huizenga, his wife Natalie Huizenga, the Committee, and his brother and campaign manager James Barry converted campaign funds to personal use including personal meals, living expenses, personal travel and golf expenses, and improper mileage reimbursements. The complaint further alleged that the Committee failed to properly itemize reimbursement payments to members of the Huizenga family.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 7552

  • COMPLAINANT: Jacob Hall
  • RESPONDENTS: Scholten4Iowa Campaign Committee and Scott Hubay, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Midwest Assistance Program (MAP)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee and MAP coordinated communications because they ran identical newspaper ads that read “Vote Scholten for Congress Tuesday, November 6,” and MAP paid $1,226.52 to run the ads in various newspapers on the same day that the Committee ran the same advertisement in a different publication. The complaint also alleged that MAP failed to file independent expenditure reports for advertisements. James Scholten was a 2018 candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

Regulations and agency procedures

Outreach

  • On July 9-10, IT Technical Lead Laura Beaufort spoke on panel entitled “Open SaaS – Open Source in the Cloud” at the OSEHRA’s eighth annual summit in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • On July 10, Commission staff hosted FECFile and reporting webinars for PACs and party committees.

Press Releases

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 15: July Quarterly reports are due. For more information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Quarterly 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 Monday, July 15 to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports.
  • 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.

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 2018 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.

The 2017 Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations is available. Other Campaign Guides are available, as well.

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.

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 at this time. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.