Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
The Commission made public four closed cases and one Statement of Reasons, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANTS: Noah Bookbinder, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; Nicole Carroll; Adena Boxer-Capitano; Amy Huie; Amy Riviere; Andre Faubert; Brina Bujkovsky; Bruce Glassman; Candace M. Smiley; Catherine Valentine; Christina Harris; Connie J. Elder; Elizabeth A. Judy; Emma Glassman-Hughes; Gayle Irene Reed; Gus Bujkovsky; Janice Bailey; Janice Reich; Jennifer Chambers; Joan Bennett; Karen Petty; Kathleen L. Diehlmann; Kathleen Steel; Kenneth Carney; Laura P. Gordon; Lenore Wilkas; Linda Dunne Garro; Lisa M. Nowrick; Lorilyn Vouros; Lucinda Stephens; Lynda Vernia; Lynn Foltz; Marcelle Stokes Caratti; Marely Ramirez; Maura Maloof; Maureen Gupta; Michael Martin; N. Teal Turner-Young; Nancy Sheila Roy; Naomi Lowe; Pamela A. Albergo; Pamela Stricker; Rebecca Collins; Rosalee Clanton; Rosalyn Morales; Sara J. Thelin; Sheila Botkin; Sheryl Brown; Sonia Jane Peterson; Stacey A. Riordan; Susan Liebes; Suzette Nguyen; Teresa Nyles; Toni Flecker; and Tracy Hughes
RESPONDENTS: Duncan D. Hunter for Congress and Chris Marston, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Rep. Duncan D. Hunter; and Margaret Hunter
SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that the respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and Commission regulations by converting campaign funds to personal use. Former Rep. Hunter served as a Member of Congress, representing California’s 52nd Congressional District from 2009 to 2013 and California’s 50th Congressional District from 2013 until his resignation on January 13, 2020.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found reason to believe the respondents converted campaign funds to personal use and failed to accurately report disbursements. Hunter and his wife and campaign manager Margaret Hunter entered into a conciliation agreement providing for them to pay a civil penalty of $12,000. Additionally, the Committee entered into a separate conciliation agreement and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4,000 and amend the relevant disclosure reports in accordance with instructions from the Commission’s Reports Analysis Division to address the violations.
COMPLAINANT: Theodore Mukamal
RESPONDENTS: William Wachtel; Lauren Durbal; Friends of Andrew Yang and Zach Graumann, in his capacity as Treasurer (the Yang Committee); Eric Gioia; Peter Goodman; Gregory Gushee; Roy Moskowitz; Helen Petulla; Zoe Siegel; Jesse Wachtel; Madeline Wachtel; Nicholas Wachtel; Sheldon Whitehouse; and Whitehouse for Senate and Keith D. Lowey in his official capacity as Treasurer (the Whitehouse Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Wachtel asked others to make and then reimbursed four contributions totaling $7,400 during the 2018 and 2020 election cycles. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Wachtel reimbursed two $1,000 contributions made by Moskowitz and Goodman to the Yang Committee, and two $2,700 contributions made by Wachtel’s daughter, Madeline Wachtel, to the Whitehouse Committee. Yang was a 2020 primary candidate for U.S. President and Whitehouse was a 2018 candidate for Rhode Island’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: Based on the available information and in light of the fact that some allegations are beyond the five-year statute of limitations enforcement period, the Commission found no reason to believe that the respondents violated the Act because the record did not provide a sufficient factual basis to reasonably conclude that the contributions to the Yang and Whitehouse Committees were reimbursed or otherwise made in the name of another. The Commission further observed that the available information did not support a reasonable inference that the Yang and Whitehouse Committees knew or had any reason to believe that the contributions at issue may have been made in the name of another. Finally, the Commission noted that the complaint did not appear to allege a cognizable violation of the Act against respondents Siegel, Gushee, and Gioia.
MUR 7535 (Leah Vukmir; Leah for Senate and Travis Kabrick, in his official capacity as treasurer; Americas PAC and Tom Donelson, in his official capacity as treasurer; Restoration PAC and Sherry Gaskill, in her official capacity as treasurer; and Richard Uihlein) On March 30, Chairman Allen Dickerson and Commissioner James E. “Trey” Trainor, III issued a Statement of Reasons.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Commission made public five closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
RESPONDENT: American Crystal Sugar Company Political Action Committee and Lisa Maloy, 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 that the Committee failed to remedy impermissible Primary 2020 contributions totaling $45,000 made to federal candidates after an election within the required timeframe.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.
COMPLAINANT: Betty A. Field; and Chandra Wilkins
RESPONDENTS: Stephany Rose Spaulding; and Stephany Rose for Congress and Jason Christensen, in official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that Spaulding and the Committee received funds from a church through the candidate’s personal account and either provided the funds to family and friends to contribute to her campaign or deposited the funds into her campaign account and reported them as unitemized contributions. One of the complaints also suggested that Spaulding and the Committee may have accepted up to $30,000 in unreported loans from friends and family, and that the church funds may have also been an unreported and prohibited or excessive loan.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter.
RESPONDENT: Kentucky State Democratic Central Executive Committee and M. Melinda Karns, 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 that during the 2019-2020 election cycle the Committee engaged in a series of reporting errors including prohibited and other impermissible contributions or transfers, mathematical and cash-on-hand discrepancies, failure to provide supporting schedules, failure to properly itemize disbursements, and allocated federal and nonfederal activity.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) certify that a representative participated in an FEC training program; 2) develop and certify implementation of a process to track receipt of, and response to, communications with the Commission; 3) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual which includes internal controls; and 4) pay a civil penalty of $6,025.
RESPONDENT: End Citizens United and Kimberly Coleman, 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 that the Committee failed to timely file three 48-Hour Reports totaling $74,516.12 to support three independent expenditures disclosed on its 2020 October Monthly Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) retain counsel to review compliance procedures and conduct training with those responsible for preparing and filing FEC reports, and 2) pay a civil penalty of $3,700.
Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (Case No. 21-0406) On March 25, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an Order, ruling that default judgment be entered in favor of CLC and against the FEC, and that the FEC conform to the Court’s order within 30 days by acting on CLC’s administrative complaint.
FEC v. LatPAC, et al. (Case No. 21-6095) On March 30, the Commission filed a Reply in Support of its Motion for Default Judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. On March 31, United States Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron issued a Report and Recommendation to the court.
FEC v. Rivera (Case No. 17-22643) On March 30, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a Final Judgment, ruling that Defendant David Rivera knowingly and willfully violated 52 U.S.C. § 30122 by making contributions in the name of another and ordering Rivera to pay a civil penalty of $456,000 and costs of $927 to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Rulemakings and agency procedures
REG 2015-04 (Independent Spending by Corporations, Labor Organizations, Foreign Nationals, and Certain Political Committees (Citizens United)) On April 1, the Notice of Disposition in REG 2015-04 was published in the Federal Register.
On March 29, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub spoke via videoconference to a seminar on Money in Politics at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law about campaign finance law, the work of the Commission, and careers in public service.
On March 30, the Commission hosted FECFile webinars for candidates, PACs and party committees.
Upcoming Commission meetings
April 5 and 7, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
April 7, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
April 26 and 28, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
April 28, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
April 6, 2022: The Commission will host a webinar for political party committees.
April 20, 2022: The Commission will host an FECConnect OnTopic session on Filing 48-Hour Notices for Last-Minute Contributions and Loans.
May 11, 2022: The Commission will host a webinar for corporations and their PACs.
May 18, 2022: The Commission will host an FECConnect OnTopic session on responding to Requests for Additional Information (RFAIs) from the Commission’s Reports Analysis Division (RAD).
May 25, 2022: The Commission will host a webinar for membership and labor organizations and their PACs.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
April 15: April Quarterly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2022 Quarterly Reporting schedule.
April 20: April Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2022 Monthly Reporting schedule.
The Commission has posted filing deadlines for the Alaska At-Large Special Election. For information on the reporting dates for these elections, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.
Updated Campaign Guide
The Commission recently updated its Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees. The new Guide, which replaces the 2014 edition, provides an overall summary of the federal campaign finance laws that apply to candidates for the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate and their campaign committees. Printed versions of the Guide are now available for order from the Commission’s Information Division.
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.