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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
April 14, 2017   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2017-15

Weekly Digest
Week of April 10 - 14

 
COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
 
No Commission open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
 
ENFORCEMENT
  
The Commission made public three closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
 
MUR 6993
COMPLAINANT: EMILY’s List
RESPONDENTS: Van Hollen for Senate and Stacey Maud, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Rosalyn Levy Jonas
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee used contributor information from disclosure reports filed with the Commission by EMILY’s List to solicit contributions. The complaint alleged further that Jonas made an excessive contribution to the Committee by paying for a letter included with the Committee solicitation.
DISPOSITION: The Commission agreed to enter into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $2,100 and to disgorge the $3,350 in contributions received from the solicitation to the U.S. Treasury. The Commission found no reason to believe Jonas made an excessive contribution because the Committee confirmed that it had paid for the letter at issue in the matter.  

MUR 7095

COMPLAINANT: John C. Zody, Chair, Indiana Democratic Party
RESPONDENT: RGA Right Direction PAC and Michael Adams, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to include a complete disclaimer on two television ads it aired opposing a gubernatorial candidate.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter. The Commission observed that the disclaimers at issue contained sufficient information to indicate that the sponsor had authorized the communication. The Commission sent a letter reminding the Committee of its obligation to comply with the disclaimer requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended.

MUR 7116

COMPLAINANT: Conrad E. Francois II, on behalf of Virgin Islands for Plaskett
RESPONDENTS: Russell for Congress and Royette Russell, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Ronald E. Russell
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Ronald Russell failed to file a Statement of Candidacy within 15 days of becoming a candidate. The complaint alleged further that the Committee failed to file a Statement of Organization within 10 days of being designated as the candidate’s principal campaign committee, accepted contributions and made expenditures prior to designating a treasurer, and failed to timely file its 2016 July Quarterly and Pre-Primary election reports. Russell was a 2016 primary election candidate for Delegate to Congress from the United States Virgin Islands.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the Committee took prompt remedial measures before the election and that the scope of the activity reported in an untimely manner was limited. The Commission sent a letter reminding the Committee of its obligation to file pre-election reports.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION


The Commission made public two campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
 
ADR 810
COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Independence USA PAC and Diane Gubelli, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee failed to disclose all financial transactions on its 2015 November Monthly Report. The Committee amended that report to disclose additional in-kind contributions received totaling $189,800. The matter was referred to ADR due to the increased activity.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to (1) certify that a representative participated in an FEC conference, (2) file an additional Miscellaneous Form 99 to clarify the circumstances relating to the transaction, and (3) pay a civil penalty of $3,300.

ADR 813

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Scott Rigell for Congress and Joe Wood, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee failed to refund or redesignate 2016 General Election contributions within the permissible timeframe.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed pay a civil penalty of $5,600, disgorge any remaining balance of uncashed refund checks for general election contributions to the U.S. Treasury, certify the closure of the Committee’s federal account and file a termination report, work with Commission staff to terminate their political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission, and continue reporting until such time as the Committee’s termination has been approved.
 
LITIGATION
 
Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:16-cv-00752-JDB). On April 12, the Commission filed its Answer in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  
 
Republican Party of Louisiana, et al. v. FEC (Case 16-865). On April 12, the Acting Solicitor General filed a Motion to Dismiss or Affirm on the Commission’s behalf in the United States Supreme Court.  

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
 
April 19:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.
 
April 20: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting and an executive session.

April 25:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.
 
April 27: 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.
 
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
 
April 26: Trade Association Webinar. 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 2017 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.
  
Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm eastern on April 14 to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307.
April 20: April Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
 
ADDITIONAL RESEARCH MATERIALS
 
The Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.
 
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 April 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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