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  • Weekly Digests

Week of June 10 – 14, 2019

June 14, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory opinions

Advisory Opinion Requests Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-10 (Price for Congress)

On June 10, 2019, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from Price for Congress, the principal campaign committee for Dr. Thomas Price. The requestor asks whether it may contribute committee assets to a non-profit organization and whether that organization may engage in certain activities if Price will be its president and CEO. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 20) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by August 5, 2019.

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

On June 11, 2019, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from the Pro-Life Democratic Candidate PAC, a non-connected political committee. The requestor asks whether and under what conditions it may accept contributions earmarked for a Democratic candidate for U.S. president who is pro-life. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 21) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by August 9, 2019.

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

On June 13, the Commission made public a second advisory opinion request from Area 1 Security, Inc., a technology corporation, which asks whether it may offer low-cost cybersecurity services to federal candidates and political committees. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 24) and must issue a response no later than the first business day following 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, August 12, 2019. On June 7, Area 1 Security, Inc. withdrew its original request, Advisory Opinion Request 2019-07.

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-13 (MJ for Texas)

On June 13, 2019, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2019-13 from Mary Jennings (MJ) Hegar, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, who asks whether campaign funds may be used to pay for a portion of full-time daycare expenses for her children. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 24) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by August 5, 2019.

Enforcement

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

MUR 7376

  • COMPLAINANT: Bob Starr
  • RESPONDENTS: Republican Party of Florida and Mike Moberley, in his official capacity as treasurer; Charlotte County Republican Executive Committee (CCREC); Charlotte County Republican Club; West Charlotte County Republican Club; Friends of Connie Mack/Mack PAC and David Satterfield, in his official capacity as treasurer (Mack Committee); Douglas Curtis; Raymond Corcoran; Bill Folchi; and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and Bradley T. Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (Trump Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that CCREC spent $5,000 in non-federally permissible funds on three billboards supporting 2016 presidential candidate Trump and that the Charlotte County Republican Club and West Charlotte County Republican Club (collectively, Republican Clubs) made contributions to CCREC in support of the billboards, sponsored a rally and solicited contributions for the Trump Committee, and paid rent and office expenses for the Trump Committee. The complaint also alleged that CCREC made an excessive contribution to the Mack Committee.
  • DISPOSITION: On May 7, 2019, the Commission found no reason to believe the Mack Committee accepted an excessive contribution from CCREC in 2012 because the contribution appeared to be within the permissible limits at the time the contribution was made. The Commission dismissed the remaining allegations against the other respondents but sent a letter of caution to CCREC, West Charlotte Club, the Trump Committee, and Corcoran and closed the file.

MUR 7418

  • COMPLAINANT: Dennis Olson
  • RESPONDENTS: Fuse Washington (Fuse)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Fuse, a nonprofit organization, was spending and fundraising for a partisan purpose in Washington’s 5th and 8th Congressional Districts in 2018 and failed to register and report as a political committee, as required by the Act. The complaint also alleged that some Fuse website materials did not include required disclaimers and that Fuse should have disclosed certain Facebook ads.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission dismissed the allegations of failing to register and report as a political committee and failing to include proper disclaimers on certain communications. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegation that Fuse failed to report independent expenditures in consideration of Commission priorities.

MUR 7435

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: David Vitter for U.S. Senate and William Vanderbrook, 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 failed to refund $237,650 in general election contributions after Vitter, a 2016 candidate for reelection to Louisiana’s United States Senate seat, withdrew from the general election.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to refund $233,608 to contributors. The Committee also agreed to file a Termination Report with the Commission and to pay a civil penalty of $34,000.

MUR 7586

  • COMPLAINANT: Self-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC); and International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. Political Action Committee and Betsy R. Laird, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: ICSC and the Committee disclosed that ICSC improperly deposited corporate funds totaling $343,979 into the Committee’s account. Both also reported the untimely transfer and deposit of Committee contributions and the inaccurate reporting of the Committee’s cash-on-hand balances over a five-year period.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for ICSC and the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $23,000.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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

ADR 891

  • COMPLAINANT: Lori Adams
  • RESPONDENTS: Scholten4Iowa Campaign Committee and Scott M. Hubay, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to include a proper disclaimer on a mass mailing. James Scholten was a 2018 candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to certify that a representative participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC's Information Division and pay a civil penalty of $750.

ADR 892

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: Congressman Joe Barton Committee and Kristin E. Barton, in her 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 failed to refund or redesignate 2018 general election contributions totaling $49,062.50 within the permissible timeframe after the candidate withdrew from the 2018 Texas Primary Election.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to file a Termination Report and pay a civil penalty of $3,680.

ADR 893

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: SEAL PAC Supporting Elected American Leaders PAC 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 failed to disclose all financial activity on its 2017 Mid-Year Report. On January 31, 2018, the Committee filed an Amended 2017 Mid-Year Report including $607,776.02 in additional receipts.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to certify that a representative participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC's Information Division and pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

ADR 896

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: Americas PAC and Tom Donelson, 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 failed to timely file a 48-Hour Report totaling $29,960.00 to support two independent expenditures disclosed on its 2018 July Quarterly Report.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to certify that a representative participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC's Information Division and pay a civil penalty of $1,500.

Administrative Fines

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

AF 3533

Neill for Illinois and Andrew Nall, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $118.

Litigation

Commissioner Statements

Outreach

  • On June 12, Commission staff hosted a webinar for candidates and their authorized committees.

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

  • June 20, 2019: June Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

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 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.

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