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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
January 6, 2017   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2017-01

Weekly Digest
Week of January 2 – 6


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS


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

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

MUR 6913
COMPLAINANT: Letitia Tomaszewski
RESPONDENTS: Scot John Tomaszewski for Congress, Inc. and Paul Verna, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to (1) file its 2014 post-election report and (2) disclose disbursements related to refurbishing a limousine owned by the candidate and used by his campaign. Tomaszewski was a 2104 independent candidate for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the disclosure report in question was 29 days late and reflected minimal campaign activity.
 
MUR 7012
COMPLAINANT: Ronald L. Dockrey
RESPONDENTS: Mike Sweeney 4 Congress and Kathy Sweeney, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the yard signs and brochures produced and distributed by the Committee failed to include proper disclaimers.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that it was unlikely the general public would have been misled as to who was responsible for the communications.

MUR 7039
COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
RESPONDENTS: Bernie 2016 and Susan Jackson, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Senator Bernard Sanders; and ActBlue, LLC (ActBlue)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that an advertisement on Facebook, paid for by the Committee, did not contain a disclaimer stating who paid for or authorized it.  Senator Sanders was a 2016 primary candidate for United States President.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter as to the Committee. The Commission observed that while the advertisement itself did not contain a disclaimer, the ad contained sufficient information to identify the Committee and that it linked to both the Committee’s website and a donation page on ActBlue’s website, both of which contained compliant disclaimers. The Commission found no reason to believe Senator Sanders or ActBlue violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

MUR 7046
COMPLAINANT: Mavis Busiek
RESPONDENTS: Matthew Evans for Congress (the Committee); and Matthew Evans
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Evans solicited donations on his campaign website without using proper disclaimer notices. Evans was a 2016 candidate for Missouri’s 7th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities and in light of the Committee’s quick remedial action.

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 3147 – Collins for Congress and Carroll Brian Daniel, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $3,334.

LITIGATION

Libertarian National Committee, Inc. v. FEC (Case 1:16-cv-00121-BAH). On January 3, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an Order and Memorandum Opinion.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

Party Rulemaking Petitions:  The Commission is currently accepting public comments in response to two citizen petitions.  The first,  REG 2016-03 Political Party Rules Petition, asks the Commission to revise existing rules regarding the use of federal funds to pay for certain activities of state, district, or local committees of a political party. The second, REG 2014-10 Party Contribution Limits, asks the Commission to amend its regulations to implement amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act made by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which established certain new accounts for national party committees, and to amend the Commission’s regulations regarding convention committees.  The deadline for comments on both petitions is January 30, 2017.

Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustments 2017. The Commission is adjusting its civil monetary penalties for annual inflation, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990. The adjusted penalties are calculated according to a statutory formula and will apply to penalties assessed after the rule goes into effect. The statute requires the adjusted penalties to take effect no later than January 15, 2017.

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

January 12: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

MEETING DATES


The Commission has posted meeting dates for January-July 2017.

JOIN THE FEC ON TWITTER AND YOUTUBE IN 2017


Follow @FEC on Twitter to receive the latest information on agency updates, news releases, and weekly activity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, FECTube: FECConnect on Demand, to watch instructional videos that have been designed to help candidates and committees comply with federal campaign finance laws. Note that the FEC is not currently available through other social media platforms at this time. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other mediums has not been authorized by the FEC.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

January 18, 2017: Webinar on Year-End Reporting for PACs and Party Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

January 18, 2017: Webinar on FECFile for PACs and Party Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

January 25, 2017: Webinar on Year-End Reporting for Candidate Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

January 25, 2017: Webinar on FECFile for Candidate Committees. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

January 31, 2017: Year-End Reports are due. For information on reporting dates, refer to the 2017 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 latest 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 January Record newsletter. Sign up to receive email notification when new Record articles are posted.

The latest 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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