Commission meetings and hearings
On November 14 and 16, the Commission met in executive session.
On November 16, the Commission held an open meeting.
Advisory Opinion 2023-07 (Upshur County Republican Executive Committee) On November 16, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from Upshur County Republican Executive Committee (Upshur County). The Commission concluded that Upshur County and the West Virginia Republican Party are not affiliated for the purposes of the contribution limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).
Advisory Opinion Request 2023-10 (Sony Pictures Television Inc.) On November 14, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from Sony Pictures Television Inc. The requestor asks whether its production and distribution of a fictional entertainment program that includes a cast member who is now a candidate for U.S. Senate is exempt from regulation pursuant to the so-called “media exemption.” The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than November 24, 2023) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by January 5, 2024.
Advisory Opinion Request 2023-11 (VoteDown PAC) On November 16, 2023, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from VoteDown PAC. The requestor asks whether, after using polling or fundraising data to identify “leading opponents” of candidates and incumbent officeholders, it may earmark and forward contributions to such leading opponents or, in the alternative, to national party committees. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than November 27, 2023) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by January 15, 2024.
Withdrawal of request
Advisory Opinion Request 2023-06 (Texas Majority PAC) On November 12, the requestor withdrew its request.
Advisory Opinion Request 2023-08 (Cowboy Analytics, LLC) On November 14, the Commission received a comment on the advisory opinion request.
The Commission made public three closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
RESPONDENT: Women Vote Smart and Amy S. Kremer, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe that the Committee, a hybrid committee with both a federal account and a non-contribution account, knowingly accepted $37,575.74 in prohibited contributions into its federal account.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $5,000, to correct and file its affected reports, and to send its treasurer to Commission-sponsored compliance training.
COMPLAINANTS: End Citizens United and Tiffany Muller
RESPONDENTS: Kevin McCarthy; and Congressional Leadership Fund and Caleb Crosby, in his official capacity as treasurer (CLF)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that McCarthy and CLF, an independent expenditure-only political committee, solicited, received, directed, transferred or spent funds in connection with a federal election that did not comply with the source prohibitions and amount limitations of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), known as soft money. McCarthy represents California’s 20th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe McCarthy or CLF impermissibly raised or spent soft money because there was insufficient support in the available record for the implication that McCarthy established, financed, maintained or controlled CLF or that CLF was acting on his behalf.
RESPONDENT: Dr. Manny for US Senate and Troy Brewer, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe the Committee failed to timely refund, reattribute, or redesignate general election contributions after the candidate’s loss in the primary election, which resulted in excessive contributions. Dr. Manny Sethi was a 2020 primary election candidate for Tennessee’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $19,000 and amend its disclosure reports to disclose as debts $58,765.66 in excessive contributions that could not be refunded.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Oklahoma Leadership Council On November 13, the Commission approved on tally vote an Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Oklahoma Leadership Council, covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020. The Commission approved findings related to Misstatement of Financial Activity, Increased Activity, Contributions from Unregistered Political Organizations, Reporting of Debts and Obligations, Recordkeeping for Communications, Recordkeeping for Employees, and Reporting of Apparent Independent Expenditures.
Proposed Final Audit Report on Citizens for Waters On November 13, the Commission approved on tally vote a Proposed Final Audit Report on Citizens for Waters, 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 Cash Disbursements.
Final Audit Report of the Commission on Steve Daines for Montana On November 15, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on Steve Daines for Montana, covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020. The Commission approved findings related to Disclosure of Debts and Obligations and Disclosure of Receipts. The Commission included Contributions in Excess of the Limit in the Additional Issues section.
The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Administrative Fine Search System.
AF 4639 Dan Franzese for Congress and Robert Scott Kiger, in official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $17,674.
Regulations and agency procedures
Improvements to Report Filing Processes and Website Usability This week, the Commission made public the comments that it received in response to its Notification published in the Federal Register on September 13 on ways to improve its report filing processes and public-facing website.
Directive 74: Investigations Conducted by the General Counsel; Enforcement Investigative Plans On November 14, the Commission published Directive 74, which became effective on November 1.
REG 2012-02 (Limited Liability Partnerships) The Commission has ended the consideration of a rulemaking that would have revised Commission regulations to treat certain limited liability partnerships (LLPs) as corporations for purposes of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act). Accordingly, the Commission voted to terminate REG 2012-02 without making any revisions to existing Commission regulations.
On November 14, the Office of the Inspector General made public a report, Management and Performance Challenges Facing the FEC for FY 2024.
On November 15, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer made public the Commission’s FY 2023 Agency Financial Report.
Commission approves advisory opinion, two Audit documents (issued November 16)
On November 15, the Commission hosted webinars on Independent Expenditures and Reporting Independent Expenditures using FECFile.
Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings
December 12, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
December 14, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming reporting due dates
November 20: November Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2023 Monthly Reporting schedule.
Additional research materials
Election Dates: The Commission has posted Preliminary 2024 Presidential and Congressional Primary Dates, which are subject to change.
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.
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.