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  • Weekly Digests

Week of March 11 – 15, 2019

March 15, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

No executive sessions or open meetings were scheduled this week.

Enforcement

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

MUR 6926

  • COMPLAINANTS: Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21
  • RESPONDENTS: Martin O’Malley; Win Back Your State, f/k/a O’Say Can You See PAC, and Martin Cadogan, in his official capacity as treasurer (OPAC); and O’Malley for President and Terry Lee Lierman, in his official capacity as treasurer (Presidential Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that O’Malley, unnamed others, and OPAC paid for O’Malley’s testing-the-waters activities for a potential 2016 presidential run with funds that did not comply with the candidate contribution limits and restrictions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe OPAC, which was formed by O’Malley in 2012, the Presidential Committee, or O’Malley violated the Act, determining that although OPAC paid testing-the-waters expenses for O’Malley, once O’Malley declared his candidacy, the Presidential Committee timely reimbursed OPAC for most of those goods and services. With respect to all but one of the remaining goods and services for which OPAC paid and which were not covered by the regulation that allows for reimbursements within 30 days, the Presidential Committee nonetheless appeared to have reimbursed OPAC for the full amount of these expenditures within the 60 days permitted by Commission regulations for resolving potential excessive contribution violations. As for the lone expenditure that was not timely reimbursed, because OPAC had not disclosed any contributions to the Presidential Committee, the entire $5,000 contribution limit was available to the Committee. The Commission also determined that the available information did not support the conclusion that OPAC was supporting O'Malley's testing-the-waters activities before 2015. Therefore, the Commission found that the available record did not support a finding that OPAC made excessive in-kind contributions to the Presidential Committee in connection with O’Malley’s testing the waters activities.

MUR 7308

  • COMPLAINANT: Tyler Erdman
  • RESPONDENTS: Adam H. Victor; TransGas Development Systems, LLC (TransGas); Garry Coulter; Nana Yoshioka; Marta Dani; Randall Harris; Noel Daley; Michael C.J. Vanderkemp; Joshua Krakowsky; and Glenn Willard
  • SUBJECT: The complainant asked the Commission to reconsider his previous complaints in MURs 7005 and 7056, which alleged that Victor made contributions in the names of employees, business associates, and members of his family. The earlier MURs resulted in a conciliation agreement providing for Victor and TransGas to pay a $65,000 civil penalty. The current complaint alleged that Victor, through intimidation, bribery, and threats, caused the Commission to receive false or misleading testimony from the respondent straw donors in the earlier matters and that two of Victor’s lawyers, Krakowsky and Willard, participated in this conspiracy by drafting false declarations for the straw donors. The complainant further alleged that these actions resulted in reduced civil penalties and the Commission’s inability to find reason to believe with respect to some respondents.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission dismissed the complaint, noting that a number of allegations at issue in this matter such as conspiracy, bribery, and witness tampering are not within the Commission’s jurisdiction. The Commission also noted that the contributions at issue in this case are beyond the statute of limitations, as they were made during the 2012 election cycle, and that the Commission had already conciliated with Victor in the earlier matters.

MUR 7459

  • COMPLAINANT: Ohio Democratic Party
  • RESPONDENTS: Citizens for Turner and Michael Berning, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Rep. Michael Turner
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that two of the Committee’s television ads failed to include a written disclaimer stating that Turner had approved the communications. Turner was a 2018 candidate for Ohio’s 10th Congressional District.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the complaint in consideration of Commission priorities. The Dismissal Report noted that it was unlikely the public would have been confused as to whether Turner had approved the ads.

Litigation

Outreach

  • On March 13, Commission staff hosted Candidate 101: Getting Started, a webinar for first-time candidates and potential candidates, as well as their campaign staff.
  • On March 15, the Commission issued the Statistical Summary of 24-Month Campaign Activity of the 2017-2018 Cycle

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

  • March 20, 2019: March Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
  • The Commission has posted the filing deadlines for the North Carolina 9th Congressional District Special Election. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

Upcoming educational programs

  • On March 27, Commission staff will host a compliance webinar for membership and labor organizations and their PACs.
  • On April 3, Commission staff will host a FECFile webinar for candidate committees.

Additional research materials

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 now 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.