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For Immediate Release
April 17, 2006
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASES

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission is making public four cases resolved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. This brings to 243 the total number of cases released since the ADR program began October 2, 2000. The program’s goal is to expedite resolution of some enforcement matters, reduce the cost of processing complaints, and enhance overall FEC enforcement. Closed ADR negotiated settlement summaries are available in the FEC’s Press and Public Records offices.

For a case to be considered for ADR treatment, a respondent must express willingness to engage in the ADR process, agree to set aside the statute of limitations while the case is pending in the ADR Office, and agree to participate in bilateral negotiations and, if necessary, mediation.

Bilateral negotiations through ADR are oriented toward reaching an expedient resolution with a mutually agreeable settlement that is both satisfying to the respondent(s) and in compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA).  Resolutions reached through direct and, when necessary, mediated negotiations are submitted to the Commissioners for final approval. If a resolution is not reached in bilateral negotiation, the case proceeds by mutual agreement to mediation. It should be noted that cases resolved through ADR are not precedential.

1.

ADR 278

RESPONDENTS:

Dollars for Democrats, Ann Fishman, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to report receipts

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondents acknowledged that the subject receipts were not included in the original 2004 12 Day Pre-General Election Report and once discovered, they amended the report to disclose the additional receipts. Respondents explained that they did not make contributions or expenditures on behalf of candidates for elective Federal office covered by the 12 Day Pre-General Election Report. Given that the Committee did not make contributions or expenditures on behalf of any candidate for Federal office during the reporting period, there was no requirement that the Committee file the 12 Day Pre-General Election Report. However, since the Committee chose to file the report, it would have been preferable if they had included the aforementioned receipts. Given these circumstances, the Commission determined that this matter be dismissed.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 278 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

2.

ADR 284

RESPONDENTS:

Idaho Republican Party, Andrew Fales, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

Failure to accurately provide contributor information/failure to employ "best efforts" in obtaining contributor information

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$10,000 civil penalty

Respondents contend that the turnover in the Committee’s staff, the irregular employment of professional staff to assist the Committee in complying with the Act’s reporting requirements and the lack of the appropriate records led to the violations. Since the violations were brought to the Committee’s attention, professional support has been contracted and new procedures put in place to ensure that records are maintained and follow-up letters sent when the required contributor information is missing. In order to avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to establish new internal operating procedures that will require prior review and documentation by the Committee before expenditures are authorized, copies of which will be forwarded simultaneously to their accountant’s office. They also agree to contact the contributors in order to obtain  required employment and/or occupation information that was missing from the 2002 election cycle reporting, provide documentation of that “best effort” and file amended reports disclosing such information from the contributors.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 284 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

3.

ADR 290

RESPONDENTS:

MOVEON.ORG Political Action, Wes Boyd, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to forward earmarked contributions within 10 days after initial receipt

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$2,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledged the need to set-up a back-up procedure to handle disbursements of earmarked contributions in the event Committee personnel are unavailable to do so in a timely manner. Respondents have contracted with a professional accounting firm to provide such back-up support to ensure that earmarked contributions are transferred in accordance with the Commission regulations. Respondents further agree to have the Committee’s CFO attend a FEC seminar for non-connected PACs.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 290 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

4.

ADR 294

RESPONDENTS:

Pennsylvania Medical Society Political ActionCommittee Federal, Larry Light, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to accurately report receipts and disbursements

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$9,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledge inadvertent errors in disclosing the Committee’s financial activity on the 2003 Year-end Report. Respondents note that the errors occurred during the transfer of data to the FEC. Respondents advised that the receipt of a Request for Additional Information (RFAI) from the Commission alerted them to the fact that the data contained in earlier reports was incorrect and that the program for importing data was not performing correctly. Thereafter the Committee filed an amended report to disclose additional receipts and disbursements. In order to avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to establish new procedures to provide for regular and continuous oversight as well as review all financial reports prior to submitting them to the Commission; establish and maintain a procedure manual to guide Committee staff in complying with the requirements of the FECA and Commission regulations; and select at least two members of the Committee’s staff to attend a FEC seminar on Federal Election campaign reporting responsibilities.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 294 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

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