Commission meetings and hearings
On June 7 and 8, the Commission met in executive session.
On June 8, the Commission held an open meeting.
Advisory Opinion 2022-04 (Jill Stein for President) On June 8, the Commission approved Advisory Opinion 2022-04 in response to a request from the Jill Stein for President Committee concerning the use of Committee funds raised after the general election in 2016 to pay outstanding administrative fines to the Commission or to make repayments to the United States Treasury. The Commission concluded that (1) the Committee need not establish a separate, segregated account to raise funds designated as “other receipts” to pay administrative fines, (2) the Committee may not use funds designated as primary contributions to pay administrative fines, and (3) the Committee may use funds designated as primary contributions to make repayments to the United States Treasury. During the discussion, the Commission heard from the requestor and Counsel for the requestor.
Opinion Discussed and Extension of Time
Advisory Opinion Request 2022-03 (Democracy Engine) On June 8, the Commission discussed and held over Advisory Opinion Request 2022-03 in response to a request from Democracy Engine, LLC, which asked whether (1) corporations may use Democracy Engine’s web platform to solicit and track contributions from members of a corporation’s restricted class to federal candidates and political committees and (2) corporations and their separate segregated funds may use Democracy Engine’s web platform to solicit and track contributions from the general public to federal candidates and political committees. The Commission received a comment on the draft from the requestor and during the discussion, the Commission heard from Counsel for the requestor. On June 8, the requestor granted an extension of time.
Opinion Held Over
Advisory Opinion Request 2022-05 (DSCC) On June 8, the Commission held over consideration of Advisory Opinion Request 2022-05, a request from the DSCC, a national political party committee that plans to hire a consultant to write a research book regarding a sitting U.S. senator and to use the book both to inform its own strategy in that senator’s state and to provide the book to two candidates for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in that state.
The Commission made public five closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Kendra Arnold; and Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT)
RESPONDENTS: Sara Gideon; Sara Gideon for Maine and Lisa Lunn, in her official capacity as Treasurer (the Committee); and Majority Forward
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Majority Forward, a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, made and the Committee received an in-kind contribution when they coordinated an advertisement with Gideon. The complaint further alleged that Majority Forward made an impermissible contribution when it republished Gideon campaign materials. Gideon was a 2020 candidate for Maine’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that Majority Forward made an excessive contribution and that Gideon and the Committee knowingly accepted an excessive contribution because the facts presented were insufficient to support a reasonable inference that Majority Forward coordinated with the Committee or republished Gideon campaign materials.
COMPLAINANT: Wayne Goodwin on behalf of North Carolina Democratic Party
RESPONDENTS: Thom Tillis Committee and Collin McMichael, in his official capacity as Treasurer (the Tillis Committee); Senator Thom Tillis; and North Carolina Republican Party and Zachary Crotts, in his official capacity as Treasurer (NCGOP)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Tillis, the Tillis Committee, and NCGOP made an unreported party coordinated communication that did not contain the appropriate disclaimer when Tillis recorded a robocall that was disseminated by the NCGOP less than 90 days before the 2020 general election. Tillis was a 2020 candidate for North Carolina’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegations that the respondents failed to report a coordinated party expenditure and distributed a party coordinated communication without the appropriate disclaimer. The Commission noted the low dollar amount at issue.
COMPLAINANTS: Tiffany Muller, End Citizens United; and Campaign Legal Center and Sophia Gonsalves Brown
RESPONDENTS: Friends of Hagedorn and Thomas Datwyler in his official capacity as Treasurer (the Committee); Jim Hagedorn; Minnesota Office Investments, Inc.; and Mankato Place 1, LLC
SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that Minnesota Office Investments, Inc. and Mankato Place 1, LLC made, and Hagedorn and the Committee accepted and failed to disclose, prohibited in-kind corporate contributions in the form of rent-free office space. Hagedorn was a candidate for reelection in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter. The Commission observed the low dollar amount at issue.
COMPLAINANT: Campaign Legal Center
RESPONDENTS: Astellas Pharma U.S., Inc. (Astellas); and Senate Leadership Fund and Caleb Crosby, in his official capacity as Treasurer (SLF)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Astellas, a federal contractor, made a prohibited $50,000 contribution to SLF, an independent expenditure-only political committee, and raised questions as to whether SLF knowingly solicited a prohibited federal contractor contribution.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Astellas to pay a civil penalty of $7,500. The Commission dismissed the allegation that SLF knowingly solicited a federal contractor contribution.
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: Kansas Republican Party and Cheryl Reynolds, 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 failed to timely remedy $31,839.32 in excessive contributions from six individuals within the permissible timeframe during the 2020 calendar year.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual; and 2) pay a civil penalty of $2,625.
Proposed Final Audit Report on Mike Braun for Indiana On June 8, the Commission approved the Proposed Final Audit Report on Mike Braun for Indiana, covering campaign finance activity between August 7, 2017 and December 31, 2018. The Commission approved findings concerning misstatement of financial activity, failure to file 48-Hour Notices, disclosure of occupation and/or name of employer, receipt of apparent prohibited contributions-loans, and disclosure of memo entries and candidate loans. The Commission included receipt of contributions in excess of the limit and prohibited candidate personal loan repayments in the Additional Issues section. The Commission voted on a motion to include a finding that the committee received $732,429 in excessive contributions from individuals that remained after taking into account the Supreme Court’s FEC v. Ted Cruz for Senate, et al. decision, but did not have the requisite four affirmative votes either to approve that finding or to include a statement regarding that vote in the Additional Issues section.
Regulations and agency procedures
Interim Final Rule: Independent Expenditure Reporting On June 8, the Commission approved a proposed Interim Final Rule to remove a regulation requiring that certain persons making independent expenditures disclose on their reports the identification of each person who made a contribution over $200 to the persons filing such reports “for the purpose of furthering the reported independent expenditure.” The Commission approved the proposed Interim Final Rule to comply with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which affirmed a district court decision holding that the disclosure regulation was invalid. Chairman Allen Dickerson and Commissioners Sean J. Cooksey and James E. “Trey” Trainor, III issued a statement.
Initial Determination on Eligibility to Receive Primary Election Public Funds - Howie Hawkins, Howie Hawkins 2020. On June 7, the Commission approved on tally vote an Initial Determination that Hawkins, a 2020 candidate for U.S. President, is not eligible to receive payments of matching funds, as recommended by the Office of General Counsel. The Commission also approved a notice explaining that it reached this conclusion because Hawkins could not certify that he was not currently seeking the nomination of a political party in more than one state to be its presidential candidate in the 2020 presidential election at the time he presented the threshold submission more than a year after the general election.
Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (Case No. 21-406) On June 6, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum and Order denying Heritage Action for America’s Motion to Intervene.
Free Speech For People, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 22-666) On June 3, the Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
On June 6, Commissioner Shana M. Broussard spoke to the Paul Miller reporting fellows at the National Press Foundation in Washington, D.C.
On June 6-7, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub spoke on campaign finance law in a digital world at the Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Lab’s 360/Open Summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Upcoming Commission meetings
June 22, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
June 23, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
June 15, 2022: The Commission will host a webinar for trade associations and their PACs.
June 22, 2022: The Commission will host reporting and FECFile webinars for candidates.
June 29, 2022: The Commission will host a FECFile webinar for party committees and political action committees.
July 27, 2022: The Commission will host an FECConnect OnTopic session on when to file 24- and 48-Hour Reports for Independent Expenditures.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
June 20: June Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2022 Monthly Reporting schedule.
July 15: July Quarterly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2022 Quarterly Reporting schedule.
The Commission has posted filing deadlines for the New York 19th and 23rd Congressional District Special Elections. For information on the reporting dates for these elections, refer to the Special Election Report Notices.
Additional research materials
2020 Presidential General Election Results and Federal Elections 2018: Election Results for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.
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.