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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Bob Biersack

November 30, 2007

George Smaragdis

Michelle Ryan

 

FEC Completes Action on 10 Enforcement Cases; Civil Penalties in Two Matters Total $46,750

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission) recently completed action on ten enforcement cases. Civil penalties totaling $46,750 were assessed in two matters.

In MUR 5913, the International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education (ILA COPE) agreed to pay a civil penalty of $14,250 for a series of reporting violations.  Amended versions of the committee’s 2004 April Quarterly, 2004 July Quarterly, 2004 12 Day Pre-Primary and 2004 October Quarterly reports disclosed additional disbursements totaling $298,689 that were omitted from the originally filed reports.

MUR 5333 centered on allegations that several individual donors made excessive contributions to John Swallow for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2002 Congressional candidate John Swallow (UT/02).  The Commission collected a total of $32,500 in civil penalties and reached conciliation agreements with five respondents.  The Swallow committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $8,000 for accepting excessive contributions and failing to disclose itemized contributions adequately in reports filed with the FEC.  The Robert Browning Lichfield Family Limited Partnership and Robert B. Lichfield agreed to pay a $17,000 civil penalty for making excessive contributions and contributions in the name of another.  WinterFox LLC agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4,000 for making excessive contributions; and WinterHawk Enterprises LLC agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3,500 for making excessive contributions.

In MUR 5819, the Commission admonished the United States Chamber of Commerce for using corporate funds to pay for an automated telephone message that expressly advocated the election of former Congressman Ed Case to the U.S. Senate and failed to include adequate disclaimers.  The telephone message was disseminated shortly before the 2006 Hawaii Democratic primary and cost $2,474.  The FEC took no further action because of the relatively small amount of money involved and found no reason to believe Case for Senate violated the Act because the complaint did not contain any information suggesting the automated telephone calls were coordinated.

In MUR 5732, the Commission found no reason to believe Matt Brown for U.S. Senate, the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the Maine Democratic State Committee, or the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee – Federal violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act).  The matter stemmed from allegations that Matt Brown for U.S. Senate, the principal campaign committee of 2006 Senate candidate Matthew Brown (RI), arranged for its donors to contribute to the aforementioned state political party committees as part of an effort to circumvent the Act’s contribution limits.  The complaint alleged contributions made the by Brown committee’s donors to the state parties were used to support the Brown campaign.  The Commission concluded there was no evidence that donors earmarked or designated contributions to the state parties to be used to support the Brown committee.

In MUR 5845, the Commission found no reason to believe Citizens for Truth (CFT) or Friends of Mike Sodrel, the campaign committee of former U.S. Representative Mike Sodrel (IN/09), violated the Act by sharing donors and coordinating the production of billboard advertisements and other public communications.  The Commission concluded the complaint lacked sufficient facts to warrant an investigation. 

In MUR 5802, the Commission found no reason to believe the City of Chicago, Congressman Rahm Emanuel (IL/05), or his principal campaign committee, Friends of Rahm Emanuel, violated the Act.  The matter stemmed from allegations that the City of Chicago made prohibited in-kind contributions to Friends of Rahm Emanuel by using municipal employees to circulate nominating petitions on behalf of Congressman Emanuel in 2002, 2004 and 2006.  The complaint further alleged the Emanuel committee accepted and failed to report the contributions.  The Commission concluded the matter did not warrant investigation because no information was presented to support allegations that petition collectors were anything other than volunteers, collecting petitions on their own volition and time.

In MUR 5855, the Commission found no reason to believe the National Education Association Fund for the Children and Public Education (NEA Fund) violated the Act’s reporting requirements.  The complaint alleged the NEA made independent expenditures related to the 2006 general election and failed to disclose them to the FEC within 48 hours.  The complaint was filed, however, before the report was due.  The NEA Fund submitted evidence that the activity was properly disclosed to the Commission within the designated 48 hour period.

In MUR 5866, the Commission found no reason to believe former Senator Conrad Burns, his campaign committee, Friends of Conrad Burns – 2006, or the Inland Northwest Space Alliance (INSA) violated the Act.  The matter stemmed from allegations that Senator Burns earmarked taxpayer funds for INSA with the understanding that INSA employees would make contributions to his campaign committee.  The complaint alleged the activity violated the prohibition against corporate contributions and contributions in the name of another.  The Commission determined there was insufficient information to initiate an investigation.

In MUR 5867, the Commission found no reason to believe the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) violated the Act by using corporate funds for activity related to the election of a federal candidate.  The complaint alleged a September 2005 colorectal cancer dinner program sponsored by ACG served as a fundraiser for Senator Rick Santorum’s (PA) bid for re-election and that several billboards thanking Santorum and other officeholders for their support provided political support to their re-election campaigns.

In MUR 5834, the Commission dismissed allegations against 2006 Congressional candidate Darcy Burner (WA/08) and her principal campaign committee, Darcy Burner for Congress, concerning inadequate FEC disclaimers on television ads and found no reason to believe the Burner committee accepted corporate contributions.  The complaint alleged television ads produced by the committee did not comply with the “stand by your ad” requirements and therefore did not qualify for the discounted “lowest unit charge” rate available for certain political ads under Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulations.  As a result, the complainant alleged the Burner committee received corporate contributions from stations that aired the ads.  Respondents admitted the initial inadvertent omission and contended it was remedied immediately upon discovery.  The Burner committee further contended the ad did not make reference to any other candidates for the same office and therefore the FCC’s “stand by your ad” requirement that entitles a committee to the “lowest unit charge” did not apply.  The FEC concluded the allegations were unsupported and the Commission lacked jurisdiction to make determinations regarding FCC disclaimer requirements.

Under the law, the FEC must attempt to resolve its enforcement cases or Matters Under Review (MURs) through a confidential investigative process that may lead to a negotiated conciliation agreement between the Commission and the individual or group the Commission determines has violated the law.  Additional information regarding MURs can be found on the FEC website at http://www.fec.gov/em/mur.shtml.

This release contains only summary information.  For additional details, please consult publicly available documents for each case in the Enforcement Query System (EQS) on the FEC website at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqs/searcheqs .

1.

MUR 5913

RESPONDENTS:

International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education ILA-COPE and Robert E. Gleason in his official capacity as treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (Reports Analysis Division)

SUBJECT:

Failure to disclose all financial activity

DISPOSITION:

Conciliation agreement: $14,250

The matter originated from information ascertained by the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division (RAD) in the course of its supervisory responsibilities.  According to RAD’s referral, the International Longshoremen’s Association AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education ILA COPE failed to disclose all receipts on its original 2004 July Quarterly, April Quarterly, 12 Day Pre-Primary and October Quarterly Reports.

The committee filed an amended 2004 April Quarterly Report disclosing additional receipts totaling $65,827.21, an amended 2004 July Quarterly Report  disclosing  $80,211.62 in additional receipts, an amended 12 Day Pre-Primary Report disclosing $101,782.46 in additional receipts and an amended 2004 October Quarterly report disclosing $50,867.77 in additional receipts.

The Commission found reason to believe the committee violated the Act by failing to disclose receipts totaling $298,689.  The committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $14,250 and to cease and desist from committing future similar violations.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5913 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

2.

MUR 5333

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  John Swallow for Congress and Stanley R. deWaal in his official capacity as treasurer

b.)  Dell Allen, Roger Barrus, W.R. Bradley, Danica M. Campbell, Lavar Christensen, Fonda L. Eastman, Michael Ellis, Monica Ellis, Corby Facer, Jillyn Facer, Rebecca Facer, James R. Fraser, Sharon E. Fraser, John L. Harmer, Victor Iverson, Larry H. Miller, Bradley D. Pelo, Melody A. Pelo, Mandi Robinson, Timothy V. Stay, and Robert Whitman

c.)  Donna Swallow

d.) Charlotte Jonas and W. James Jonas

e.)  Robert B. Lichfield

f.)  Lenae Lichfield, Loni Lichfield O’Neil, Lyndee Lichfield, Patricia Lichfield, Reagan Lichfield, Robbie Lichfield, Roger Lichfield, Stephanie Lichfield and Tavia Lichfield

g.)  Robert Browning Lichfield Family Limited Partnership

h.)  Winterfox LLC

i.)  Winterhawk Enterprises LLC

j.)  Evan Bybee and Dennis Gay

k.)  Taige Bybee and Gina Gay

l.)  Nicail Gomm and Tamra Bybee

m.)  Kara Davis

n.)  Brenn Bybee

o.)  Bodee Gay,

p.)  Kimm Humphreys

q.)  Haley Gay

r.)  Britta Lynn Facer and Riley Todd Facer

s.)  Tyson Facer

t.)  Brent Facer

u.)  John Swallow

COMPLAINANT:

Scott Clayton

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions, contributions in the name of another, failing to disclose itemized contributions adequately in reports filed with the FEC

DISPOSITION:

a.)  Conciliation agreement: $8,000 civil penalty

b.)  No reason to believe (re: excessive contributions)

c,d.)  Dismiss the matter

f.)  Reason to believe (re: contributions in the name of another); Take no further action (re: contributions in the name of another); Dismiss the matter (re: excessive contributions)

e,g.)  Conciliation agreement: $17,000 civil penalty

h.)  Conciliation agreement: $4,000 civil penalty

i.)  Conciliation agreement: $3,500 civil penalty

j.)  Reason to believe (re: consenting to the making of corporate contributions); Take no further action (re: consenting to the making of corporate contributions)

j,k.)  Reason to believe (re: excessive contributions);

Take no further action (re: excessive contributions)

j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q.)  Reason to believe (re: contributions in the name of another); Take no further action (re: contributions in the name of another)

l,o,p.)  No reason to believe (re: excessive contributions)

r.)  No reason to believe

s.)  No reason to believe (re: excessive contributions)

t.)  Dismiss the matter

u.)  Reason to believe (re: excessive contributions); Take no further action (re: excessive contributions)

The complaint alleged 46 individuals made excessive contributions to John Swallow for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2002 Congressional candidate John Swallow (UT/02).  The complaint further alleged ten of the named contributors were children whose contributions were made to circumvent individual contributions.

In the 2002 cycle, an individual could contribute up to $1,000 per election to a candidate.  Mr. Swallow participated in the primary and general elections as well as a party convention held prior to the primary.  The complaint failed to take into account that an individual could have contributed up to $3,000 to Mr. Swallow’s committee in 2002.  As a result, the Commission found no reason to believe 26 contributors violated the Act by making excessive contributions.

The Commission found reason to believe a number of respondents violated the Act and reached conciliation agreements with five of them. 

Robert B. Lichfield, the general partner of the Robert Browning Lichfield Family Limited Partnership, used partnership funds to write ten checks in the amount of $3,000 each to the Swallow committee.  On the bottom of each check, he wrote the name of the individual to whom each contribution was attributed and obtained the approval of each member before the checks were deposited.  The partnership contributions aggregated $30,000, exceeding the partnership limit of $1,000 per candidate per election.  Additionally, partnership funds were used to make contributions from individuals who were not members of the partnership, constituting contributions in the name of another.  The Lichfield Partnership and Robert B. Lichfield agreed to pay a civil penalty of $17,000 for violating the Act.

The FEC’s investigation also revealed that contributions made by eleven respondents were made via checks drawn on accounts of limited liability companies.  Because these companies elect to be treated as partnerships by the Internal Revenue Service, their contributions are treated as contributions from the companies as well as from the eleven partners.  The Commission found reason to believe WinterFox LLC and WinterHawk Enterprises LLC each made excessive contributions to the Swallow committee.  WinterFox agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4,000 for making excessive contributions totaling $10,000.  WinterHawk agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3,500 for making excessive contributions totaling $9,000.

The Commission found reason to believe the Swallow committee violated the Act by accepting excessive contributions and failing to disclose itemized contributions adequately on FEC reports.  The committee accepted contributions from three partnerships, WinterHawk Enterprises LLC, Winterfox LLC and BMF #1, Ltd., that were attributed to individual members of each partnership.  The committee reported the contributions as contributions from the individuals to whom they were attributed, but failed to disclose the contributions from the partnerships.  Additionally, the contributions from WinterHawk and WinterFox were excessive.  The committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $8,000, amend its reports and cease and desist from committing future similar violations.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5333 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

3.

MUR 5819

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  United States Chamber of Commerce

b.)  Case for Senate and James Case in his official capacity as treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

a.)  James J. Bickerton

b.)  Barry A. Sullivan

SUBJECT:

Use of corporate funds to produce express advocacy communication; failure to include adequate disclaimers on a public communication

DISPOSITION

a.)  Admonish and take no further action

b.) No reason to believe

According to the complaint, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) violated the Act by using corporate funds to pay for the production and dissemination of an automated telephone message expressly advocating the election of former Congressman Ed Case to the U.S. Senate (HI). 

In September 2006, eight days before the Hawaii Democratic primary election, the Chamber paid for automated telephone calls in Hawaii that expressly advocated the election of Democratic Senatorial candidate Ed Case.  The Chamber stated that it hired a telemarketing company to produce and disseminate the telephone message throughout Hawaii.  A total of 54,979 calls were made at a cost of $2,474.

The FEC found reason to believe the Chamber violated the Act by using corporate funds to pay for a communication expressly advocating the election of a federal candidate and by failing to include adequate disclaimers.  Based on the relatively small amount of money involved in the matter, the Commission admonished the Chamber for its violations and took no further action. 

The Commission found no reason to believe Case’s campaign committee, Case for Senate, violated the Act in connection with this matter since there were no allegations or information suggesting the committee participated in the automated phone call or coordinated with the Chamber regarding the call.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5819 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

4.

MUR 5732

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  Matt Brown for U.S. Senate and James Vincent in his official capacity as treasurer

b.)  Democratic Party of Hawaii and Yuriko J. Sugimura in her official capacity as treasurer

c.)  Maine Democratic State Committee and Betty I. Johnson in  her official capacity as treasurer,

d.)  Massachusetts Democratic State Committee – Federal and Jane Powell in her official capacity as treasurer

e.)  Richard L. Bready

f.)  John M. Connors

COMPLAINANT:

a.)  Hawaii Republican Party

b.)  Rhode Island Republican Party

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions, contribution in the name of another

DISPOSITION

a-f.)  No reason to believe

According to the complaint, Matt Brown for U.S. Senate, arranged for its donors to contribute to the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the Maine Democratic State Committee and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee – Federal (collectively, “the State Parties”) as part of an effort to circumvent contributions limits set forth in the Act.

Matt Brown for U.S. Senate, the principal campaign committee of 2006 Senate candidate Matthew Brown (RI), solicited and received contributions from individuals and Democratic state party committees inside and outside Rhode Island.  In December 2005, the committee received $25,000 in primary and general election contributions from the Democratic State Parties of Hawaii, Massachusetts and Maine.  After receiving support from the State Parties, the Brown committee contacted individuals who had already contributed to Brown’s campaign and encouraged them to contribute to the State Parties.  According to the complainants, the solicitations enabled donors to circumvent contribution limits by either earmarking contributions to the parties for the Brown committee, making contributions to the parties with the knowledge that the State Parties would use funds to support the Brown Committee or making contributions in the name of another.

Brown and the State Parties all contended they never discussed the fact that the Brown committee had solicited on their behalf or suggested how any contributions might be distributed.

The Commission concluded there was no evidence that donors earmarked or designated contributions to the State Parties to be used to support the Brown committee and found no reason to believe respondents violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5732 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

5.

MUR 5845

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  Citizens for Truth

b.)  Friends of Mike Sodrel and Patrick Byrne in his official capacity as treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

Daniel J. Parker

SUBJECT:

Prohibited in-kind contribution in the form of coordinated communications

DISPOSITION:

a,b.)  No reason to believe

The complaint alleged Citizens for Truth (CFT) made and Friends of Mike Sodrel, the principal campaign committee of 2004 Congressional candidate of former Representative Mike Sodrel (IN/09), received prohibited or excessive in-kind contributions in the form coordinated communications.

According to the complainant, CFT was responsible for purchasing billboards and other paid media opposing Sodrel’s opponent, former Representative Baron Hill.  The complaint also noted that over half of CFT’s donors also made contributions to Sodrel’s campaign.

The Commission concluded the complaint lacked sufficient facts to warrant an investigation.  Therefore, the Commission found no reason to believe respondents violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5845 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

6.

MUR 5802

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  City of Chicago

b.)  Friends of Rahm Emanuel and David Boul in his official capacity as treasurer

c.)  Congressman Rahm Emanuel

COMPLAINANT:

Kevin Edward White

SUBJECT:

Prohibited in-kind contributions, failure to report in-kind contribution

DISPOSITION:

a-c.)  No reason to believe

The complainant alleged the City of Chicago made and Friends of Rahm Emanuel, the principal campaign committee of Congressman Rahm Emanuel (IL/05), accepted and failed to report in-kind contributions.

Based on information related to the City of Chicago’s political patronage practices disclosed during the federal criminal trial of City officials, the complainant speculated that the City used municipal employees to circulate nominating petitions on behalf of Emanuel in the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles.  As a result, the complaint alleged the City made and Emanuel accepted prohibited in-kind corporate contributions.

The City of Chicago and Friends of Rahm Emanuel denied the allegations.

The Commission concluded the matter did not warrant investigation since no information was presented to support allegations that petition collectors were anything other than volunteers, collecting petitions on their own volition and time.

The Commission found no reason to believe respondents violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5802 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

7.

MUR 5855

RESPONDENTS:

National Educational Association Fund for Children and Public Education and John Wilson in his official capacity as treasurer

COMPLAINANT:

J.D. Hayworth for Congress

SUBJECT:

Failure to file timely 48 Hour Notice of independent expenditures

DISPOSITION:

No reason to believe

According to the complaint, the National Educational Association Fund for Children and Public Education (NEA Fund) failed to disclose independent expenditures within 48 hours to the FEC.

The complaint alleged the NEA Fund began airing television advertisements attacking former Representative J.D. Hayworth (AZ/05) on October 18, 2006 and failed to file a report disclosing the independent expenditures by October 20, 2006.

The complaint was filed, however, before the report was due.  The NEA fund provided evidence that the Commission received disclosure of the activity within the designated 48 hours.

The Commission found no reason to believe the NEA Fund violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5855 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

8.

MUR 5866

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  Friends of Conrad Burns – 2006 and James Swain in his official capacity as treasurer

b.)  Conrad Burns

c.)  Inland Northwest Space Alliance

COMPLAINANT:

James A. Farrell

SUBJECT:

Corporate contributions, contributions in the name of another

DISPOSITION:

a-c.)  No reason to believe

According to the complaint, former Senator Conrad Burns (MT) earmarked taxpayer funds to the Inland Northwest Space Alliance (INSA) with the understanding that INSA employees would make contributions to his principal campaign committee, Friends of Conrad Burns.

The complaint provided a newspaper article quoting an anonymous source stating he was aware INSA employees were pressured to give money to the Burns committee.  Senator Burns and his campaign committee denied the allegations.

The Commission determined there was insufficient information to initiate an investigation and found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5866 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

9.

MUR 5867

RESPONDENTS:

American College of Gastroenterology

COMPLAINANT:

Michael L. Kochman, MD, FACP

SUBJECT:

Corporate contributions

DISPOSITION:

No reason to believe

According to the complaint, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) violated the Act by making prohibited corporate expenditures in support of a federal candidate.

First, the complaint alleged ACG sponsored a fundraiser for former Senator Rick Santorum (PA).  The event in question was a dinner program on colorectal cancer held in September of 2005.  According to ACG, former Senator Santorum was neither invited nor present at the event and the only mention of Santorum at the ACG dinner was to let attendees know what time the dinner program would be completed for anyone who was also attending a Santorum event held later that evening.

Second, the complaint alleged ACG purchased highway billboards near Philadelphia to provide former Senator Santorum with political support.  The billboards featured a photo of Santorum thanking him for “his strong commitment to helping America defeat colon cancer.”  Similar ACG billboards were erected in other states concerning other federal officeholders of both major parties.  In each case, there was no mention of the officeholder as a candidate or of any election.

The Commission found no reason to believe ACG violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5867 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

10.

MUR 5834

RESPONDENTS:

a.)  Darcy Burner for Congress and Phillip Lloyd in his official capacity as treasurer

b.)  Darcy Burner

COMPLAINANT:

Diane E. Tebelius

SUBJECT:

Failure to include adequate disclaimers, corporate contribution

DISPOSITION:

a,b.)  Dismiss the matter (re: failure to include adequate disclaimers disclosing the communication’s source of payment

a,b.)  No reason to believe (re: corporate contribution)

The complaint alleged Darcy Burner for Congress, the principal campaign committee of Darcy Burner (WA/08), failed to include adequate disclaimers on a television advertisement that aired during the 2006 election cycle.  The complaint further alleged the Burner committee may have received in-kind corporate contributions from one or more of the television stations that aired the advertisement.

In August 2006, the Burner Committee began airing a television advertisement on six Seattle-area stations that made no mention of other candidates and featured photos of Burner with a voice-over narrative of her biographical information.  At the end of the ad, Burner appeared and provided a verbal disclaimer approving the message.  A printed disclaimer also appeared stating who paid for the advertisement, but did not indicate the message was approved by Burner. 

The complaint alleged the ad did not comply with the “stand by your ad” disclaimer requirements of the Act because there was no written statement of Burner’s approval.  The complaint further asserted that as a result of the omission, the advertisements did not qualify for the discounted “lowest unit charge” rate available for certain political ads under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

Respondents admitted the initial inadvertent omission and contended it was remedied immediately upon discovery.  The Burner committee contended the ad did not make reference to any other candidates for the same office and the FCC “stand by your ad” requirement that entitles a committee to the “lowest unit charge” did not apply.

The Commission dismissed allegations against Darcy Burner and the Burner committee concerning inadequate FEC disclaimers.  Additionally, the Commission found no reason to believe the Burner committee accepted in-kind corporate contributions.  The FEC concluded the allegation was unsupported and the Commission had no jurisdiction to make determinations regarding FCC disclaimer requirements.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5834 under case numbers 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
2. Reason to believe stage
3. Probable cause stage
4. Conciliation stage

FEC decisions require the votes of at least four of its six Commissioners.

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.

**The Enforcement Priority System (EPS) rates all incoming cases against objective criteria to determine whether they warrant use of the Commission’s limited resources.

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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