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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
June 10, 2016   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2016-24

Weekly Digest
Week of June 6 – 10


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

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

ADVISORY OPINION

Drafts

Advisory Opinion 2016-05 (Huckabee for President). On June 9, the Commission made public a draft of Advisory Opinion 2016-05. The requestor, the principal campaign committee for former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, asks whether a separate legal defense fund may be used to pay the amount the Committee has agreed to pay in settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Public comments on the draft are due by noon on June 15, 2016.

Request Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2016-07 (United National Committee). On June 6, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2016-07. United National Committee asks whether it qualifies as the national committee of a political party, the Unity Party of America.  The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 16, 2016) and shall issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, specifically by August 2, 2016.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MUR 6804
COMPLAINANT: Maximilian Halm
RESPONDENTS:  Randall W. Olsen; Committee to Elect Randall Olsen and Randall Olsen, in his official capacity as treasurer; and North Park Prescription Pharmacy, Inc.
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to include disclaimers on yard signs and flyers and failed to timely register with the Commission and file required financial disclosure reports. The complaint alleged further that the Committee either purchased pharmacy prescription bags that lacked disclaimers or, in the alternative, failed to report the advertising space on the bags as an in-kind contribution from North Park Pharmacy. Olsen was a 2014 candidate for Congress from Illinois's 16th   Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe the Committee or Olsen failed to timely register and report because the first report the Committee filed after Olsen met the registration threshold for candidates was the first it was required to file. The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the disclaimer allegations; the Commission observed that the Committee appeared to have taken prompt remedial action. The Commission also found no reason to believe Olsen or North Park Pharmacy violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act) or Commission regulations in connection with the prescription bags.

MUR 6822
COMPLAINANT: Ken Dickson
RESPONDENT: Ratcliffe for Congress and Betsy Roe, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Johnny Morgan Jackson
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Jackson made and the Committee accepted an excessive contribution. John Ratcliffe was a 2014 candidate for Texas’s 4th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in light of the circumstances surrounding the contribution at issue, the small amount, the remedial action taken by the committee, and in furtherance of the Commission’s priorities.

MUR 6871
COMPLAINANT:  Derek P. Franklin
RESPONDENT:  Tucker for Congress and Edwin Anthony Stremel, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT:  The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to include a disclaimer on an automated telephone message recorded by Joshua J. Tucker, stating that the Committee had paid for the message. Tucker was a 2014 candidate for Kansas’s 2nd Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities and the circumstances, including that the Committee quickly corrected the error and the phone message reflected the identity of the candidate whose committee paid for it.

MUR 6963
COMPLAINANT:  Melody Huckin
RESPONDENT: Bullwinkel for Congress and Donna Depaul-Kelly, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT:  The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to include the required disclaimers on its website.  Deb Bullwinkel was a 2016 primary candidate for Illinois’s 8th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities and the circumstances, including that the Committee had corrected the error.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

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

AF 3024 – Whitwell for Congress and the Office of Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $6,130.

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 792 – Oakland County Democratic Party and Phillip W. Reid, in his official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) develop and certify implementation of a revised and updated compliance operations manual that includes internal controls consistent with the Commission’s Internal Controls and Political Committees advisory document and the Best Practices for Committee Management, as well as a process to track receipt of, and response to, communications with the Commission, (2) certify that a representative of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC’s Information Division, and (3) pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

LITIGATION

CREW v. FEC (Case 1:16-cv-01088).  On June 10, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Noah Bookbinder filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Level the Playing Field, et al. v. FEC  (Case 1:15-cv-01397-TSC). On June 8, Plaintiffs filed a Reply Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Further Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment and in Opposition to Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

OUTREACH

On June 10, Commissioner Ann M. Ravel participated in a panel discussion about politics, campaign disclosure and civic engagement at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles's Journalist Law School.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

On June 8, the Commission hosted a Webinar for Membership and Labor Organizations and their PACs. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Cites Committees for Failure to File 12-Day Pre-Primary Financial Report (issued June 10)

UPCOMING FORUM

June 23, 10 a.m.: Forum hosted by Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub at the FEC: Corporate Political Spending and Foreign Influence.

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

June 14: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

June 16: 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

June 22: Webinar on Reporting for Candidate Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

June 22: Webinar on FECfile for Candidate Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

June 29: Webinar on FECfile for PACs and Party Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

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

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

July 20: July 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 2016 edition of the Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available in the Public Records section of the Commission website. 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 Commission has published the June 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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