WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission) has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, against Stephen Adams, charging that he failed to report and include proper disclaimers on $1,000,000 in billboard ads during the 2004 Presidential race.
Mr. Adams’ billboard ads were independent expenditures. Independent expenditures are communications by individuals or groups that expressly advocate the election or defeat of Federal candidates, and must be reported to the FEC. In some cases, the FEC must be notified within 48 hours of the communication first appearing, and the communication must include specific information identifying who is sponsoring the advertisement.
According to the FEC’s court filing, Mr. Adams made a $1,000,000 independent expenditure to pay for approximately 435 billboard ads expressly advocating the re-election of President Bush in four states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and South Carolina. The billboards ran from September 7 - November, 2, 2004, the date of the general election. Mr. Adams failed to file timely the required 48-hour notice for independent expenditures, filing it more than six weeks late, and only five days before the election. In addition, the billboards’ disclaimers were incomplete and did not contain the required sponsor information or state that the billboards were not authorized by any candidate or party.
The suit is case 07-4419.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
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