Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
The Commission made public four closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANTS: Pima County Democratic Party; End Citizens United; American Democracy Legal Fund; and FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Martha McSally; McSally for Congress and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (House Committee); and McSally for Senate, Inc. and Paul Kilgore, in his official capacity as treasurer (Senate Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that McSally failed to file a timely Statement of Candidacy for the Senate and that the House Committee impermissibly continued to raise and spend funds to support McSally’s Senate campaign. The complaints also alleged that the respondents raised and spent funds through both McSally’s House and Senate Committees to support her Senate candidacy, and illegally transferred nearly $1 million from her House Committee to her Senate. Based on a complaint and in the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Senate Committee knowingly accepted $10,875 in excessive individual contributions created by transfers from the House Committee, and knowingly accepted $53,200 in excessive contributions from individuals disclosed in its 2018 12-Day Pre-General and 2018 30-Day Post-General Reports. McSally was a 2018 candidate for Arizona’s United States Senate seat, and served as Representative for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegation that McSally failed to timely file her Statement of Candidacy for the Senate, and it dismissed the allegation that the House Committee and the Senate Committee failed to properly report receipts and disbursements in connection with McSally’s testing-the-waters activities. The Commission also dismissed the allegation that McSally failed to establish separate campaign organizations for her House candidacy and potential Senate candidacy. The Commission found reason to believe that the House and Senate Committees violated 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a)(5)(C) by impermissibly transferring funds from McSally’s House Committee to her Senate Committee while she was actively seeking both nominations. The Commission subsequently determined to take no further action as to the 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a)(5)(C) findings. The Commission further found reason to believe that the Senate Committee knowingly accepted $10,875 in excessive individual contributions created by transfers from the House Committee, and knowingly accepted $53,200 in excessive contributions from individuals disclosed in its 2018 12-Day Pre-General and 2018 30-Day Post-General Reports, and it entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Senate Committee to pay a civil penalty of $5,500.
COMPLAINANT: William Rodney Allen
RESPONDENTS: American Ethane Co., LLC (American Ethane); John Houghtaling; Konstantin Nikolaev; Conservative Louisiana and Michele Reisner, in her official capacity as treasurer; Mike Johnson for Louisiana and William Vanderbrook, in his official capacity as treasurer; Bold Strategies, LLC; and Kyle Ruckert
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that American Ethane, a U.S. corporation with majority foreign ownership, and Houghtaling, its chief executive officer and part-owner, with the aid of its lobbyist Bold Strategies, LLC, made and consented to make prohibited foreign and corporate contributions to six political committees.
DISPOSITION: Regarding the corporate contributions allegation, the Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for American Ethane and Houghtaling to pay a civil penalty of $9,500 and for American Ethane, to the extent it had not already done so, to seek disgorgement of all the contributions at issue to the U.S. Treasury. The Commission closed the file as to the other respondents. Chairman Allen Dickerson and Commissioners Sean J. Cooksey and James E. “Trey” Trainor, III, and Commissioners Shana M. Broussard and Ellen L. Weintraub issued Statements of Reasons. Commissioner Weintraub issued a Supplementary Statement of Reasons.
COMPLAINANT: Campaign for Accountability and Michelle Kuppersmith
RESPONDENTS: National Rifle Association of America (NRA); National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund and Christina Majors as treasurer; NRA Victory Fund, Inc. and Christina Majors as treasurer; National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action; Beretta U.S.A. Corp.; Glock, Inc.; SIG SAUER, Inc.; Taurus Holdings, Inc.
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the NRA and three NRA-affiliated organizations that made independent expenditures in connection with 2018 and 2020 federal elections knowingly solicited, accepted, and spent prohibited foreign national contributions, including through transfers of funds to the NRA from four U.S. subsidiaries associated with foreign firearms manufacturers.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that unknown foreign nationals made prohibited foreign national contributions, expenditures, independent expenditures, or disbursements for electioneering communications because the complaint failed to provide sufficient factual information to support the allegation. The Commission closed the file on the allegations that (1) the NRA and its affiliated organizations knowingly solicited, accepted, or received contributions from a foreign national and provided substantial assistance to foreign nationals making contributions, expenditures, independent expenditures, or disbursements for electioneering communications and (2) Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Glock, Inc., SIG SAUER, Inc., or Taurus Holdings, Inc. made prohibited foreign national contributions, expenditures, independent expenditures, or disbursements for electioneering communications.
The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Administrative Fine Search System.
AF 4288 Dr. Laura E. Cisneros for Congress and Christian Cisneros, in official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $11,922.
On October 26, Commissioner Weintraub spoke about campaign finance to a class on United States and International Election Law at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Regulations and agency procedures
Notice of Availability For REG 2022-05 (Conduit Reporting Threshold) On October 28, the Commission published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register in response to a Petition for Rulemaking from WinRed. The Commission seeks comment on whether it should initiate a full rulemaking on amending its existing regulations regarding the threshold amount at which conduits forwarding contributions to political committees must identify the contributors to the recipient political committees and the Commission. Comments are due by December 27, 2022.
Upcoming Commission meetings
November 15, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
November 17, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
November 29, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
December 1, 2022: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
Upcoming educational programs
November 30, 2022: The Commission will host a webinar on Winding Down the Campaign and Post-General Reporting.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
December 8: 30-Day Post-General Reports are due. For more information, see the Pre- and Post-General Reporting schedule.
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.