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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
December 2, 2016   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2016-49

Weekly Digest
Week of November 28 – December 2


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On December 1, the Commission held an open meeting.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Advisory Opinions Considered

Advisory Opinion Request 2016-20 (Mlinarchik). On December 1, the Commission considered two drafts in response to a request from Christoph Mlinarchik, the sole member of a limited liability company that is a federal contractor, but was unable to reach agreement by the required four affirmative votes. The requestor asked whether, as the sole member of a limited liability company that is treated as a disregarded entity by the Internal Revenue Service for federal income tax purposes and that is negotiating a contract with the federal government, he may make contributions using his personal funds.

Advisory Opinion 2016-21 (Great America PAC). On December 1, the Commission held over discussion of an advisory opinion request from Great America PAC, a non-connected hybrid political committee, until the next open meeting. The requestor asks several questions about the applicability of the former employee conduct standard of the Commission’s coordinated communications regulations.

Drafts

Advisory Opinion 2016-22 (6 Libertarian State Committees). On November 30, the Commission made public a draft of Advisory Opinion 2016-22 (6 Libertarian State Committees).  The requestors, Libertarian political committees in Alaska, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Tennessee, ask whether each committee qualifies as a state party committee of the Libertarian National Party.  Public comments on the draft are due by 12:00 pm on December 7, 2016.

Advisory Opinion 2016-24 (Independence Party of Minnesota). On November 30, the Commission made public a draft of Advisory Opinion 2016-24 (Independence Party of Minnesota).  The requestor asks whether it qualifies as a state party committee. Public comments on the draft are due by 12:00 pm on December 7, 2016.

AUDITS

Proposed Final Audit Report on the Utah Republican Party. On December 1, the Commission considered the Proposed Final Audit Report covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012 and reopened consideration of the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Utah Republican Party. The Commission approved findings related to the receipt of prohibited contributions, receipt of contributions that exceed limits, misstatement of financial activity, recordkeeping for employees, reporting of debts and obligations, and apparent excessive contribution in the form of staff advances. The Commission did not approve a portion of the proposed finding addressing recordkeeping for employees related to logs for monthly payroll paid exclusively with non-federal funds and instructed the Audit Division to include a discussion of the issue in the Additional Issues section of the Proposed Final Audit Report.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

Proposed Amendments to Directive 52. On December 1, the Commission approved amendments to Directive 52, which governs the agency’s circulation vote procedures. Specifically, the Commission approved amending the directive to no longer circulate administrative fines matters on no-objection ballots.

LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS

2016 Legislative Recommendations. On December 1, the Commission unanimously approved 13 legislative recommendations for 2016 to be submitted for consideration to Congress: (1) Electronic Filing of Senate Reports; (2) Electronic Filing of Electioneering Communication Reports; (3) Authority to Create Senior Executive Service Positions; (4) Fraudulent Misrepresentation of Campaign Authority; (5) Making Permanent the Administrative Fine Program for Reporting Violations; (6) Increasing and Indexing for Inflation Registration and Reporting Thresholds; (7) Authority to Accept Gifts; (8) Conversion of Campaign Funds; (9) Permitting Political Committees to Make Disbursements by Methods Other than Check; (10) Increasing the In-Home Event Exemption and Unreimbursed Travel Expense Exemption for Candidates and Political Parties; (11) Prohibiting Fraudulent PAC Practices; (12) Updating Citations to Reflect the Recodification of FECA; and (13) Repeal of Convention Funding Provisions Rendered Non-Operational by the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.

OUTREACH

On November 28, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub discussed the U.S. electoral system with a group of students at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. The meeting was part of the Organization of American States’ program in Washington, D.C.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

On November 30, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) made public its 2016 Statement on the FEC's Management and Performance Challenges.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Approves Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum, Legislative Recommendations and Amendments to Agency Circulation Vote Procedures (issued December 1)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

December 6: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open audit hearing on the Colorado Republican Party.

December 6: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

December 8: 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

December 8:  Post-General Reports are due.  For more information on reporting dates, refer to the 2016 Reporting Dates 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 November 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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