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FEC Digest


For Immediate Release


Judith Ingram

July 10, 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland




ISSUE 2009-9

Weekly Digest

Week of July 6 – 10


The Commission did not hold Open or Executive Sessions this week. Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions are here. Agendas and related documents for Open Meetings are here.

Audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations are here.



On July 7, the Commission published a Notice of New Advisory Opinion Procedures and Explanations of Existing Procedures in the Federal Register.


On July 9, the Commission made public two drafts for Advisory Opinion 2009-13 (Black Rock Group). The Black Rock Group, a Delaware-based communications and public affairs firm, seeks to serve as a vendor advising one or more single-member limited liability companies that make independent expenditures concerning federal candidates and elections. Black Rock Group asks whether its services would trigger political committee status for its clients. The Commission must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, that is, by July 27, 2009. The Commission will consider both drafts at the July 16 open meeting.  

Advisory Opinions, Requests, Comments and Extensions are available here.


The Commission made public two closed cases this week. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 5940 – Poe for Congress and Virgil Poe, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the case.

MUR 6104 – Montagano for Congress, Inc. and Joseph A. Montagano, in his official capacity as treasurer; Michael Montagano; and Joseph Montagano. The Commission dismissed the case.


Beam v. FEC  (formerly Beam v. Gonzales) On July 10, the Commission filed its motion for summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The Commission argued that the court should enter judgment for the Commission because the plaintiffs have failed to uncover evidence of a violation of the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the sole claim remaining in the case. The Beams originally alleged that the Commission had violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) by permitting the Department of Justice to proceed with a criminal investigation of alleged violations of the Act in the absence of a referral from the Commission.

Public Citizen v. FEC  On July 10, the Commission filed its answer to the amended complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs allege that the FEC acted "contrary to law" when it dismissed an administrative complaint alleging that Americans for Job Security (AJS), failed to register with the FEC as a political committee, made prohibited corporate expenditures, accepted excessive individual contributions and prohibited corporate contributions, and violated the disclaimer requirements of the Act. The answer asserts that the Commission’s action in this matter, as explained by the Statement of Reasons of Vice Chairman Petersen and Commissioners Hunter and McGahn, was not arbitrary and capricious, contrary to law or an abuse of discretion.


FEC Takes Final Action on Six Cases (released July 6, 2009)


On July 8, the Commission hosted workshops on reporting requirements and its FECFile software to help candidates, parties and PACs prepare to file their July quarterly, monthly or mid-year reports.

NEXT WEEK (JULY 13 – 17, 2009)

July 14-15:  The Commission is scheduled to hold Executive Sessions

July 16:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an Open Session.


July 15 – July Quarterly Report

July 20 – July Monthly Report

July 31 – July Mid-Year Report


July 28-29, Columbus, OH – State Outreach Program. The schedule is here.

July 29-30 – The FEC will hold a public hearing on improvements to its Website and Internet Communications. Public comments are due July 21. 

August 5-6, Kansas City, MO – State Outreach Program. The schedule is here.


The July issue of The Record is here.