Week of March 13-17, 2023
Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
The Commission made public three closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Karyn Kay Griffin
RESPONDENTS: Patriots of America PAC and Henry “Hank” Foley, in his official capacity as treasurer (POA PAC); Dan Backer in his personal capacity; Henry “Hank” Foley in his personal capacity; and Timothy Viens
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that POA PAC and Backer filed a false quarterly disclosure report and failed to file a 48-hour disclosure report required for an independent expenditure in excess of $10,000 based on a claim that the respondents deliberately undervalued a NASCAR car sponsorship promoting President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign to avoid reporting requirements.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that the respondents failed to file accurate reports with the Commission or to file a 48-Hour Report in connection with the dissemination of an independent expenditure exceeding $10,000. The Commission also found no reason to believe that either Foley or Viens committed violations. Chair Dara Lindenbaum, Vice Chairman Sean J. Cooksey and Commissioners Allen J. Dickerson and James E. “Trey” Trainor, III issued a Statement of Reasons.
COMPLAINANT: Frank Smith
RESPONDENTS: Carlos Joly a/k/a Carlos Federico Joly; Canning for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer (2022 Committee); and Canning for Congress and Shawnda Deane, in her official capacity as treasurer (terminated Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the terminated Committee accepted a prohibited contribution from Joly, a Brazilian national, in the amount of $2,600 during the 2020 election cycle. The complaint further alleged that the terminated Committee provided inaccurate contributor information for Joly, reflected in its July 2019 Quarterly Report. Canning was a 2020 and 2022 candidate for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents made or accepted a prohibited contribution from a foreign national as both committees and Joly provided credible information that Joly is, and was at the time the contribution was made, a U.S. citizen. The Commission found no reason to believe that the terminated Committee inaccurately disclosed Joly’s contributor information.
COMPLAINANT: John Berman
RESPONDENTS: Fox News Network, LLC (Fox News); JD Vance for Senate Inc. and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Protect Ohio Values PAC (POV PAC) and Vicki J. Hoffmann, in her official capacity as treasurer (POV); and Ohioans for JD and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer (Ohioans for JD)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Fox News made and the Committee knowingly accepted or received prohibited in-kind contributions after Fox News published an online article that purportedly resulted from communications between Vance and Fox News and inflated the amount of money Vance had raised suggesting that Vance controlled Fox News. The complaint alleged further that POV, a hybrid PAC, and Ohioans for JD, a joint fundraising committee, may have had a role in controlling distribution of stories on Fox News.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter.
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: Forward Progress and Jessie Hunt, in official capacity as 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 the Committee failed to timely file a 48-Hour Report totaling $193,000 to support an independent expenditure disclosed on the 2022 12-Day Pre-Primary Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) certify the closure of its federal account and file a termination report, and to work with Commission staff to terminate its political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission; and 2) pay a civil penalty of $9,650.
The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Administrative Fine Search System.
AF 4306 Kimberly Lowe for Congress and Kim Lowe, in official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $1,595.
Final Audit Report of the Commission on Jim Risch for U.S. Senate Committee. On March 15, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Jim Risch for U.S. Senate Committee, covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020. The Commission approved findings related to Misstatement of Financial Activity, Receipt of Contributions in Excess of the Limit, and Failure to File 48-Hour Notices.
Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (Case No. 22-3319) On March 16, Plaintiffs filed a Response in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
John A. Castro v. FEC (Case No. 22-5323) On March 16, the Commission filed a Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Ready For Ron v. FEC (Case No. 22-3282) On March 14, Plaintiff filed a Post-Argument Supplemental Brief and the Commission filed a Supplemental Brief Opposing Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
On March 14, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report: FEC OIG Peer Review Results of Audit Function.
On March 14, Chair Lindenbaum was the keynote speaker for Wiley Rein LLP’s annual seminar on election law.
On March 14-15, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub participated in the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) workshop “Protecting Democracy” in Stockholm, Sweden.
On March 14-15, the Commission hosted a webinar for membership and labor organizations and their PACs.
FEC to hold hearing on proposed changes to regulations regarding use of campaign funds to compensate candidates (issued March 17)
Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings
March 22, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold a hybrid public hearing on proposed changes to regulations regarding the use of campaign funds by a candidate’s principal campaign committee to pay compensation to the candidate.
March 28 and 30, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
March 30, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
April 18, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
April 19, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
March 23, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host an FECConnect OnTopic session on 2023-2024 Contribution Limits.
March 29, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host a FECFile webinar for candidate committees.
April 11-12, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host a webinar for trade associations and their PACs
April 19, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host an FECConnect OnTopic session Navigating FEC Website Resources.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
March 20: March Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2023 Monthly Reporting schedule.
Additional research materials
Contribution Limits. In addition to the current limits, the Commission has posted an archive of contribution limits that were in effect going back to the 1975-1976 election cycles.
Federal Elections 2020: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is now available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.
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.
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.