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For Immediate Release
December 3, 2003
Contact: George Smaragdis
Ron Harris
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has recently made public its final action on two matters previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition information.

Specific released documents placed on the public record within the following closed MURs are cited following DISPOSITION heading. Release of these documents is consistent with the district court opinion in the December 19, 2001, decision of AFL-CIO v. FEC.

1. MUR 5272  
  RESPONDENT: American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
  COMPLAINANTS: James E. Akins, et al.
  SUBJECT: Failure to report the costs of membership communications
  DISPOSITION: Based upon a review the information available, the Commission noted that there did not appear to be sufficient basis to find reason to believe that AIPAC's communications, as a general matter, triggered the reporting requirements of the Act because they did not contain express advocacy. Additionally, the Commission stated, further investigation into AIPAC's activities based upon the information presented would not be an appropriate use of the Commission's limited resources. Accordingly, the FEC exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed this matter.*
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD: Certification of vote by Commissioners (dated September 30, 2003); Statement of Reasons (Chair Weintraub, Vice Chairman Smith and Commissioners Mason, McDonald, Thomas and Toner)
2. MUR 5345  
  RESPONDENTS: Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence � Voter Education Fund, Mark Ingram, treasurer
  SUBJECT: Failure to file timely 24-Hour Notices for independent expenditures
  DISPOSITION: Conciliation Agreement: $26,000 civil penalty*

The Committee made independent expenditures totaling $211,509 opposing candidates in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Respondents violated the Act by failing to file timely two 24-Hour Notices for these independent expenditures. Respondents will cease and desist from violating this provision of the Act.

  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD: Conciliation Agreement (dated October 10, 2003); Certification of vote by Commissioners (dated October 17, 2003).


*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:

1. Receipt of proper complaint 3. "Probable cause" stage
2. "Reason to believe" stage 4. Conciliation stage

It requires the votes of at least four of the six Commissioners to take any action. The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint. If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent.

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