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  • Weekly Digests

Week of July 29 – August 2, 2019

August 2, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory opinions

Extension of Time

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-10 (Price for Congress)

On August 1, the requestor granted an extension of time through August 23. The requestor asks whether it may contribute committee assets to a non-profit organization and whether that organization may engage in certain activities if Dr. Price will serve as its president and CEO.

Enforcement

The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 7461

COMPLAINANT: Linda DeLozier Ivell
RESPONDENTS: Julio Gonzalez for Congress and Eric Robinson, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Julio Gonzalez; and Winston Arabitg
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Arabitg violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act) by making an excessive contribution in the form of a $317,000 loan to his son-in-law Julio Gonzalez, a 2018 candidate from Florida’s 17th Congressional District. The complaint alleged that the loan, disclosed in Gonzalez’s personal financial disclosure statement filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics, was the ultimate source of funds for $150,000 in loans that Gonzalez made to his Congressional campaign, as it did not appear that Gonzalez had sufficient income or assets to loan such an amount to his campaign.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On August 1, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub 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.

ADR 839

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: McMullin for President Committee Inc. and Joel Searby, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Committee failed to disclose $169,759.20 in debts on its 2016 September Monthly Report, $339,387.57 in debts on its 2016 October Monthly Report, and $68,952.70 in debts on its 2016 12-Day Pre-General Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to use the funds remaining in the Committee’s bank account ($4,254.89) to pay debts reported on its 2019 April Quarterly Report and to file a Debt Settlement Plan with the Commission prior to filing its Termination Report. The Commission assessed no civil penalty.

ADR 897

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Marsha for Senate (f/k/a Marsha Blackburn for Congress, Inc.) and Ron M. Gant, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Committee received excessive contributions totaling $100,350 during the 2015-2016 election cycle. Marsha Blackburn was a 2016 candidate for Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to certify that a representative of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program and to pay a civil penalty of $7,500.

ADR 898

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Maryott for Congress and Brian Maryott (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Committee failed to disclose $154,134.00 in additional disbursements on its 2018 12-Day Pre-Primary Report. Brian Maryott was a 2018 candidate for California’s 49th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) implement a policy requiring that reports are reviewed by multiple individuals prior to filing and bank reconciliations are reviewed by someone other than the treasurer of the Committee on a quarterly basis; 2) certify that a representative of the Committee has participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program; and 3) pay a civil penalty of $5,500.

ADRs 901 and 903

COMPLAINANT: Campaign Legal Center; and FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Principles First, Inc. and Randall Pullen, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to timely file a 24-Hour Report of independent expenditures for at least $49,350 for television ads that expressly advocated against the election of Matt Rosendale, a 2018 candidate for Montana’s U.S. Senate seat. In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Committee failed to file a 24-Hour Report totaling $65,150 to support two independent expenditures disclosed on its 2018 July Quarterly Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) work with Commission staff to terminate its political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission; 2) file a Termination Report with the Commission; and 3) pay a civil penalty of $4,900.

Regulations and agency procedures

On July 31, the Commission published a Rulemaking Petition in the Federal Register on amending the Commission’s definition of “contribution” to include “valuable information.” The Commission seeks comment on the Petition through September 30, 2019.

Litigation

Coolidge Reagan Foundation v. FEC (Case No. 1:19-cv-01493) On July 29, the Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Outreach

On July 27-August 2, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub participated in the Pre-Election Assessment Mission for Tunisia’s parliamentary and presidential elections. The event was sponsored by the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

August 20: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

August 22: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

Meeting dates are subject to change. Please contact the Press Office the week of the scheduled meeting for confirmation.

Upcoming reporting due dates

August 20: August Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Upcoming educational programs

On August 27-28, the Commission will host a Regional Conference in Chicago, IL for candidates, political parties, and political action committees.

Additional research materials

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.

Printed copies of the 2019 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are available. Contact the Commission's Information Division at (202) 694-1100 or (800) 424-9530 (press 6, when prompted) to order printed copies of the CFR at no charge. You may also email the Information Division to place an order at info@fec.gov.

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.

Federal Elections 2016: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices. To order a printed copy, please contact the FEC’s Public Records Office at 800/424-9530 (option 2) or 202/694-1120, or send an email to pubrec@fec.gov.

The FEC Record is available as a continuously updated online news source.

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 at this time. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.