FEC CONSIDERS NEXT STEPS IN CONNECTION WITH VAN HOLLEN V. FEC, DISCUSSES TWO ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS AND TWO AUDIT DIVISION RECOMMENDATION MEMORANDUMS, AND DEMONSTRATES NEW WEB DISCLOSURE TOOL
WASHINGTON –The Federal Election Commission today discussed a motion to initiate a rulemaking in connection with Van Hollen v. FEC, two advisory opinion requests, and two Audit Division Recommendation Memorandums. The Commission also demonstrated its Candidate and Committee Viewer, a new web-based campaign finance disclosure tool, and showcased its updated Electronic Filing RSS Feed.
Consideration of the Order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Van Hollen v. FEC. The Commission considered and failed to adopt by the requisite four votes a motion to initiate a rulemaking in response to the District Court’s order of September 20, which directed the Commission to file a status report informing the court whether it “intends to pursue rulemaking or defend its current regulation.” The Office of General Counsel subsequently filed a Status Report advising the District Court that the Commission “does not intend to pursue a rulemaking and that it will continue to defend 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(c)(9) before the Court.” Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioners Cynthia L. Bauerly and Steven T. Walther issued separate statements.
Advisory Opinion Request 2012-25 (American Future Fund/American Future Fund Political Action/McIntosh). The Commission discussed three drafts but did not vote on an advisory opinion request from American Future Fund, American Future Fund Political Action, David McIntosh, and David McIntosh for Indiana, regarding their proposed plan to establish joint fundraising committees. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of the requestors. The deadline for the Commission to issue a response is October 9, 2012.
Advisory Opinion Request 2012-32 (Tea Party Leadership Fund). The Commission discussed a draft but did not vote on the request, which asks (1) whether the Tea Party Leadership Fund (TPLF), a non-connected political committee, may make contributions to candidates of up to $5,000 per election before the end of the six-month waiting period required for it to qualify as a multicandidate committee and (2) whether federal candidates Sean Bielat and John Raese may accept contributions from TPLF of more than $2,500, but not more than $5,000, per election before the end of the waiting period. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of TPLF, Bielat and Raese. The deadline for the Commission to issue a response is October 11, 2012.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The Commission discussed and then held over until the next open session the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. The Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum recommends that the Commission approve the findings presented in the Draft Final Audit Report related to the misstatement of financial activity and the overfunding of federal accounts by non-federal accounts.
Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Rightmarch.com PAC, Inc. The Commission discussed and then held over until the next open session the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Rightmarch.com PAC, Inc. covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. The Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum recommends that the Commission approve the findings presented in the Draft Final Audit Report related to the misstatement of financial activity, extension of credit by a commercial vendor and the failure to file notices and properly disclose independent expenditures.
Candidate and Committee Viewer and Electronic Filing RSS Feed. A staff member from the Commission’s Office of Chief Information Officer demonstrated a new, web-based disclosure tool that provides candidate and committee two-year summaries, report summaries, report images and viewable and downloadable electronic filings through a consolidated portal. Additionally, an updated Electronic Filing RSS Feed was highlighted, which allows the public to subscribe to and customize feeds in order to be notified when committees have filed electronic reports with the Commission.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
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