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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
April 8, 2016   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
.pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2016-15

Weekly Digest
Week of April 4 – 8


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

No Commission open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MUR 6518
COMPLAINANTS: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Melanie Sloan
RESPONDENTS: New Gingrich; Callista Gingrich; Newt 2012, Inc. and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer (Newt 2012); and Gingrich Productions, Inc.
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Gingrich Productions, Inc. (Gingrich Productions) made prohibited in-kind corporate contributions to Newt 2012, when it paid certain costs associated with “dual purpose” book signing events, at which Newt 2012 also collected email addresses for its use in soliciting contributions. The complaint alleged further that the Gingriches, as Chief Executive Officers of Gingrich Productions, facilitated a prohibited corporate contribution when they authorized Gingrich Productions to make payments for the book signing events and when they authorized the company to provide a mailing list to Newt 2012. The complaint also alleged that Gingrich converted campaign funds to personal use when Newt 2012 paid him for the mailing list. Finally, the complaint alleged that Newt 2012 did not properly report the disbursement to Gingrich for its purchase of the mailing list. Newt Gingrich was a 2012 primary candidate for U.S. President.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. (See ADR 772.)

MUR 6698
COMPLAINANT: Christian Gil
RESPONDENTS: Charles Boustany Jr. MD for Congress, Inc. and Alan D. Hebert, in his official capacity as treasurer (Boustany Committee); John L. Porter, in his official capacity as campaign manager for Charles Boustany Jr., MD for Congress, Inc., and the sole member of Campaign Counsel LLC; and United Ballot PAC, Elroy Broussard, in his official capacity as president, and Karin D. Babineaux, in her official capacity as treasurer (United Ballot)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that United Ballot, a state political committee, did not include a required disclaimer in one of its mailers, did not register as a political committee under the Act, and that it used funds for the mailer that may not have complied with source and contribution limits under the Act. A Supplement to the complaint further alleged that the Boustany Committee violated the Act by disclosing a $35,000 disbursement to a company owned by Boustany’s campaign manager with the purpose described as “door-to-door-GOTV” because that payment ultimately supported United Ballot’s endorsement of Boustany and its slate card and get-out-the-vote efforts. Boustany was a 2012 candidate for Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Commission made public one campaign finance enforcement matter that was resolved through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

ADR 772 – Newt 2012 and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) file a FEC Form 99 correcting and clarifying the debt for a mailing list at issue, and (2) certify the closure of the Committee’s federal account, file a debt settlement plan with the Commission prior to filing a termination report, and work with Commission staff to terminate the Committee’s political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission. The Committee will continue reporting until such time as the termination has been approved.

AUDITS

Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Oklahoma Democratic Party. On April 5, the Commission issued the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Oklahoma Democratic Party covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012. The Commission approved findings related to (1) the misstatement of financial activity, (2) misstatement of financial activity concerning Levin Funds, and (3) reporting of debts and obligations totaling $56,387. The report also addresses additional issues regarding the Audit staff’s recommended finding on recordkeeping for employees (monthly payroll logs), which the Commission did not approve by the required four votes.

Final Audit Report of the Commission on Gary Johnson 2012, Inc. On April 8, the Commission issued its Statement of Reasons-Repayment Determination After Administrative Review.

LITIGATION

Level the Playing Field, et al. v. FEC  (Case 1:15-cv-01397-TSC). On April 6, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Libertarian National Committee, Inc. v. FEC (Case 1:16-cv-00121-BAH). On April 6, the Commission filed its Motion to Dismiss  in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Public Citizen, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:14-cv-00148-RJL). On April 7, the Commission filed its Reply Memorandum in Support of Its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  On the same day, Intervenor-Defendant Crossroads Policy Strategies filed its Reply Memorandum in Support of Its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.

Van Hollen v. FEC (Cases 15-5016 &15-5017). On April 5, Appellant Hispanic Leadership Fund filed an Opposition to Appellee Chris Van Hollen's Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  On the same day, Appellant Center for Individual Freedom filed a Response to Petition for Rehearing En Banc.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

On April 4, the Commission issued the Statistical Summary of 12-Month Campaign Activity of the 2015-2016 Election Cycle.

OUTREACH

On April 4 and April 5, Commissioner Ann M. Ravel spoke on campaign finance, the 2016 elections and the importance of civic engagement at events organized by Democracy Matters at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and at Colgate College in Hamilton, New York.
 
On April 5, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub discussed the role of money in politics in a televised interview on Democracy Now!

On April 5, Information Division Assistant Staff Director Greg Scott discussed corporate political action committees with representatives from Prudential Financial. 

On April 7, Press Officer Judith Ingram and Data Architect Paul C. Clark discussed the Commission's disclosure systems with reporters participating in the Professional Development program at the National Press Club.

PRESS RELEASES

Federal Election Commission Certifies Federal Matching Funds for O’Malley (issued April 6)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

April 12: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

April 14: 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 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

April 19-20, Orlando, FL, Regional Conference for House & Senate Campaigns; National, State, District & Local Party Committees; and Corporate, Labor, Membership & Trade Organization PACs. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

April 15: April Quarterly Reports are due. For information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2016 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.

April 20: April Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2016 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

DISCLOSURE INITIATIVES

Commission staff, together with our partners at 18F, continue to add new features to the agency's beta.fec.gov website. The Commission encourages website visitors to submit comments and questions by clicking on the “Feedback” tab at the bottom of each page.

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH MATERIALS

Additional research materials about the agency, campaign finance information, and election results are available through the Library section of the Commission website.

The Commission has published the March Record newsletter. Sign up to receive email notification when new Record articles are posted.

The 2016 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations can be downloaded from the website.  To order printed copies, call (800) 424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

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