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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
December 9, 2016   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2016-50

Weekly Digest
Week of December 5 – 9


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On December 6, the Commission held an open audit hearing on the Colorado Republican Committee.

On December 6, the Commission held an executive session.

On December 8, the Commission held an open meeting.

2017 OFFICERS

On December 8, the Commission elected Steven T. Walther as Chairman and Caroline C. Hunter as Vice Chairman for 2017.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Advisory Opinion Request 2016-21 (Great America PAC). On December 8, the Commission discussed a draft in response to a request from Great America PAC, a non-connected hybrid political committee, but did not vote on the matter. The requestor asked several questions about the applicability of the former employee conduct standard of the Commission’s coordinated communications regulations to its plan to hire phone bank personnel and door-to-door canvassers. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel for the requestor. The Commission received an Extension of Time until January 31.

Advisory Opinion 2016-22 (2 Libertarian State Committees). On December 8, the Commission approved Advisory Opinion 2016-22 in response to a request from the Libertarian Party of Georgia, Inc., and the Libertarian Party of Tennessee (the Committees). (Four Committees had withdrawn from the advisory opinion request.) The Commission concluded that the Committees qualify as state committees of a national political party. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel for the requestor.

Advisory Opinion 2016-24 (Independence Party of Minnesota). On December 8, the Commission approved Advisory Opinion 2016-24 in response to a request from the Independence Party of Minnesota (IPM). The Commission concluded that the IPM qualifies as a state committee of a political party.

ENFORCEMENT
 
The Commission made public three closed cases and four Statements of Reasons, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6901
COMPLAINANT: Victor “Vic” S. Meyers
RESPONDENTS: Buck for Colorado and Cheryl Klein, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Kenneth R. Buck; Denver Post; and Longmont Daily Times-Call (Times-Call)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Buck and the Committee aired a radio advertisement that incorrectly identified the proper name of the Committee that had paid for it. The complaint claimed further that the Denver Post and the Times-Call published articles and ads by and in support of Buck’s campaign, as well as editorials endorsing Buck, but refused to cover and interview Buck’s opponents.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the Committee asserted that it had promptly corrected its error in the disclaimer at issue.

MUR 6944
COMPLAINANT: Ambrosio Hernandez
RESPONDENTS: Jose A. Farias; Aquiles J. Garza; Mario Bracamontes; Arturo J. Cortez; and Integrated Border Services (IBS)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that IBS, which it claimed was a foreign entity, made and Farias, Garza, Bracamontes, and Cortez accepted a $100 contribution. The four men were 2015 candidates running collectively for Mayor and City Commission in Pharr, Texas.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed the de minimis amount at issue and the fact that the candidates apparently refunded the contribution before the complaint was filed, and it noted that the available information was insufficient to determine whether IBS is a foreign entity.

MUR 6972
COMPLAINANT:  Debbie Nuss
RESPONDENTS: Jerry Moran; Moran for Kansas and Timothy Gottschalk, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Moran and the Committee failed to disclose disbursements. Moran was a 2016 candidate for reelection to Kansas’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the Committee took quick corrective action.

MUR 6589R – American Action Network. On December 5, Commissioners Ann M. Ravel and Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6698 – Charles Boustany Jr. MD for Congress, Inc. and Alan D. Hebert, in his official capacity as treasurer; 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. On December 5, Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioners Caroline C. Hunter and Lee E. Goodman issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6732 – North Carolina Democratic Party-Federal and Charles E. Reece, in his official capacity as treasurer. On December 8, Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioners Caroline C. Hunter and Lee E. Goodman issued a Statement of Reasons  and Commissioner Goodman issued a separate Statement of Reasons.

 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 803
COMPLAINANT:  FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS:  Majority Committee PAC-MCPAC and Jill Thomson, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee made excessive contributions to federal candidate committees in the amount of $20,110.
DISPOSITION:  The Committee agreed to 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 pay a civil penalty of $1,575.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public 22 campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

AF 3056  – American Association of Crop Insurers Political Action Committee (AACI PAC) and Michael R. McLeod, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $320.

AF3057 – Americans Socially United and Cary L. Peterson, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $7,150

AF 3058 – Citizens for Xavier Salinas and Ray Perez, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $1,090.

AF 3059 – Claitor for Congress and Chelsea Bonnecaze, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $8,662.

AF 3060  – Collin County Republican Party and Mark Reid, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $2,630.

AF 3061  – Continuing America’s Strength and Security PAC and Ralph J. Stephens, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $3,980.

AF 3063  – Great Lakes Super Political Action Committee and Dwight Washington, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed no civil penalty.

AF 3064  – Greg Garrett for Congress and Gary Linker, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $400.

AF 3065  – Ingrid Turner for Congress and Latrise Marie Workman, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $4,950.

AF 3066  – IRL PAC and Ed Torgas, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $2,087.

AF 3068  – Make America Great Again and Leslie Caldwell, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $275.

AF 3069  – Mark Greenberg for Congress and J. Kenneth Nowell, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $340.

AF 3072  – Oregon Right to Life Victory PAC and Gayle Atteberry, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $2,640.

AF 3073  – Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee PAK-PAC and Jalil A. Khan, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $800.

AF 3075  – Tom Carter for Congress and Thomas Carter, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed no civil penalty.

AF 3076  – Whitwell for Congress and Office of Treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed no civil penalty.

AF 3079 – Brent Waltz for Congress and Mark Collins, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $1,090.

AF 3080 – Committee to Elect Mark A. Hunt for Congress 2016 and Jerry Brookover, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $522.

AF 3083 – Ambulatory Surgery Center Association PAC (ASCAPAC) and John Greenwich, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $1090.

AF 3084 – Exploratory Congressional Committee for David Larsen DBA: David Larsen for Congress and David Larsen, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $1,050.

AF 3087 – Spotorno for America and Daniel Murphy, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $210.

AF 3088 – Yungman Lee for Congress and Guang Quan Wu, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $5,500.

LITIGATION

CREW, et al. v. FEC(Case 16-5300 & 16-5343). On December 8, the Commission filed its Motion toDismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

REG 2013-01 Technical Modernization. On December 7, the Commission disclosed four comments submitted during the comment period that ended on December 4.

REG 2016-04: Technical Amendments and Corrections. On December 8, the Commission approved technical amendments to the 2016 Code of Federal Regulations.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

On December 2, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) made public its Semiannual Report to Congress – April 01, 2016 - September 30, 2016.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

On December 8: Post-General Reports were due.  For more information on reporting dates, refer to the 2016 Reporting Dates page of the Commission website.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Issues Two Advisory Opinions, Discusses a Third Advisory Opinion Request; Approves Technical Corrections to Agency Regulations; Elects Officers for 2017 (issued December 8)

FEC Elects Steven Walther as Chairman for 2017; Caroline Hunter to Serve as Vice Chair (issued December 8)


UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

January 31, 2017: Year-End Reports are due. For 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 December 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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