Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
Status of FEC operations
Beginning this month, the FEC’s headquarters at 1050 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, will reopen to visitors and members of the public on a limited basis. Please see the FEC’s Contact page for more information, including current COVID-19 safety protocols.
Advisory Opinion Request 2022-06 (Hispanic Leadership Trust) On May 6, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from the Hispanic Leadership Trust (HLT). The requestor, a non-connected committee, asks several questions relating to whether HLT would be a leadership PAC if its chair and vice chair were members of Congress, or whether HLT would be affiliated with the chair or vice chair’s leadership PACs. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than May 16) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by July 5, 2022.
The Commission made public two closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANTS: Campaign Legal Center and Margaret Christ
RESPONDENTS: Zekelman Industries, Inc. (Zekelman Industries); Wheatland Tube, LLC; Barry Zekelman; Roger B. Schagrin; and America First Action, Inc., and Jon Proch, in his official capacity as treasurer (America First Action)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Wheatland Tube, LLC, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Zekelman Industries, made $1.75 million in prohibited foreign national contributions to America First Action, an independent expenditure-only political committee, after Barry Zekelman, a foreign national who is chief executive officer and executive chairman of Zekelman Industries, Inc., participated in the LLC’s decision-making process concerning the contributions. The complaint alleged further that Zekelman Industries knowingly solicited and provided substantial assistance in the making of the contributions.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Wheatland Tube, LLC and Zekelman Industries to pay a civil penalty of $975,000 and to request that America First Action refund the contributions or disgorge the $1.75 million to the U.S. Treasury. The Commission voted to take no further action as to Barry Zekelman, America First Action, and Schagrin.
COMPLAINANT: Richard A. Light
RESPONDENTS: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress and Frank Llewellyn, in his official capacity as Treasurer; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Katie Porter for Congress and Alexander Warren, in his official capacity as Treasurer; and Katie Porter
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and Commission regulations, by knowingly soliciting prohibited contributions from foreign nationals on Facebook. Specifically, the complaint claimed that the respondents purchased ads soliciting contributions that were visible to the complainant, a foreign national living in the United States, on his Facebook feed.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act as there was no available information to indicate that 1) they had knowledge that any members of the audience for their Facebook ads included foreign nationals, or 2) that they possessed any information that would lead a reasonable person to inquire further as to the citizenship status of any members of the audience for the ads.
The Commission made public two closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Administrative Fine search system.
AF 4246 Dr Jay for Congress, Inc. and James C Thomas, in official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $8,766.
AF 4260 Tom for Ohio and Thomas Hwang, in official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $13,468.
On May 3, 5 and 6, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub participated in a virtual workshop entitled Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) and Disinformation: Good Practices, Successful Experiences and Challenges in the Area of Strategic Communication, organized by the Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation (DECO) of the Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy (SSD) of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS).
Upcoming Commission meetings
May 10 and 12, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
May 12, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting. This meeting will be open to the public for in-person attendance in the Commission’s hearing room at FEC headquarters. Alternatively, the meeting will be streamed online as well. For those attending the meeting in person, applicable COVID-19 safety protocols, which are based on CDC COVID-19 Community Levels in Washington, D.C., will be updated on the FEC’s Contact page on the Monday before the meeting.
May 24 and 26, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
May 26, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
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.
June 15, 2022: The Commission will host a webinar for trade associations and their PACs.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
May 20: May Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2022 Monthly Reporting schedule.
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.