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For Immediate Release
November 28, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
COMPLIANCE CASE MADE PUBLIC
 

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has recently made public its final action on a matter previously under review (MUR). This release contains only disposition information.

1.

MUR 5667

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Buchanan for President, Inc., Angela Buchanan,     treasurer

(b)   Buchanan Foster, Inc., Angela Buchanan, treasurer

(c)   Mark T. Clausen

(d)   Georgia D. Herberg

COMPLAINANT:

Mark Rendina

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions; failure to report contributions

DISPOSITION:

(a-d)    Dismiss the matter*

            The complainant alleged that Mark Clausen made an in-kind contribution in the form of legal advice to the campaign. Additionally, the complaint stated that the committee received excessive contributions in the form of internet domain names that were never reported to the Commission. In his response, Mr. Clausen claimed that the complaint stemmed from the complainant’s loss in an intellectual property suit over the domain names involving the Buchanan campaign. Mr. Clausen stated that he initially represented the Committee as a volunteer and was subsequently hired as an attorney for the Committee. The Commission agreed with the Office of General Counsel to dismiss this matter on the grounds that the case was both low rated** and the fact that a majority of the alleged activity took place over five years ago.

**Low rated cases are those that do not warrant use of the Commission’s resources to pursue because of their lower significance relative to other pending matters. Stale cases are those that initially received a higher rating but have remained unassigned for a significant period due to a lack of staff resources for effective investigation. Effective enforcement relies upon the timely pursuit of complaints and referrals to ensure compliance with the law. Investigations concerning activity more remote in time usually require a greater commitment of resources, primarily due to the fact that the evidence becomes more difficult to discover as it ages.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

 

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5667 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

 

*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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