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FEC Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Judith Ingram

July 2, 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland

 

 

 

ISSUE 2009-8

Weekly Digest

Week of June 29 – July 2

COMMISSION MEETINGS

The Commission did not hold Open or Executive Sessions this week. Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions are here. Agendas and related documents for Open Meetings are here.

Audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations are here.

ENFORCEMENT

The Commission made public five closed cases and one Statement of Reasons this week.  For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 5504 – John Karoly, Jr.; Karoly Law Offices, P.C.; Jayann Brantley; Heather Kovacs; and Christina Ligotti. The Commission agreed to accept a conciliation agreement providing for respondents to pay a $155,000 civil penalty.

MUR 6023 – John McCain 2008, Inc. and Joseph Schmuckler, in his official capacity as treasurer; Rick Davis; The Loeffler Group, LLP; Susan Nelson; 3eDC, LLC. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

MUR 6039 – Lincoln Diaz-Balart for Congress and Jose A. Riesco, in his official capacity as treasurer; Mario Diaz-Balart for Congress and Jose A. Riesco, in his official capacity as treasurer; Ros-Lehtinen for Congress and Antonio L. Agiz, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the case.

MUR 6089 – Melissa Hart; Meakem Communications Company LLC (also known as Leadership Radio Network); People with Hart Inc. and Michelle Pierson, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act.

MUR 6120 – Darren White; Darren White for Congress and Angie McKinstry, in her official capacity as treasurer; Republican Campaign Committee of New Mexico (RCCNM) and John Chavez, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Freedom’s Watch, Inc. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act.

MUR 5835 – Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Brian L. Wolff in his official capacity as treasurer. A Statement of Reasons was issued by Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioners Caroline C. Hunter and Donald F. McGahn.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

ADR 474 – Michigan Doctors Political Action Committee-Michigan State Medical Society and Scot F. Goldberg, MD, as Treasurer. The respondents agreed to implement compliance measures and pay a civil penalty of $4,000.

ADR 477 – Democratic Party of Virginia and Abbi Easter as Treasurer. The respondents agreed to implement compliance measures and pay a civil penalty of $5,000.

LITIGATION

Citizens United v. FEC In this case, Citizens United challenges the application of BCRA's electioneering communication provisions to the cable-video-on demand broadcast of a film produced by Citizens United, as well as to televised advertising for that film. In July 2008, a three-judge district court found that BCRA was constitutional as applied to all of Citizens United's activity and granted summary judgment to the Commission. Citizens United appealed to the Supreme Court, which heard oral argument in the case on March 24, 2009. 

On June 29, the Supreme Court issued an order directing the parties to submit supplemental briefs on whether two earlier Supreme Court decisions, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and portions of McConnell v. FEC, which upheld limits on corporate and union campaign expenditures, should be overruled.  The order also set the case for reargument on September 9, 2009.

Unity08 v. FEC On June 29, the Commission filed its merits brief in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In this action, Unity08 – a group that sought to nominate and elect a bipartisan ticket for President and Vice President in the 2008 elections – challenges a Commission advisory opinion that advised Unity08 that it would have to register as a political committee once it made more than $1,000 in expenditures. The district court granted summary judgment to the Commission, and Unity08 appealed.  On appeal, Unity08 argues that the Commission's advisory opinion incorrectly interpreted FECA's definition of "expenditure" and incorrectly applied the Supreme Court's "major purpose" test. The Commission's brief argues that (a) the case is moot because Unity08 has ceased its operations, (b) advisory opinions are not subject to direct judicial review, and (c) the advisory opinion at issue was neither an unreasonable interpretation of FECA nor contrary to any other law.

Beverly v. FEC On July 1, the Commission received an order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Arnold Dewalt Beverly alleged that the FEC had failed to assist him in announcing a write-in presidential campaign. The Court of Appeals summarily affirmed the dismissal of the case by the district court for the Eastern District of California.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Settles Allegations of Impermissible Contributions (released June 30, 2009)

NEXT WEEK (JULY 6 – 10, 2009)

No Commission Open Sessions or Executive Sessions are scheduled.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

July 15 – July Quarterly Report

July 20 – July Monthly Report

July 31 – July Mid-Year Report

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 8 – The FEC will host workshops on reporting requirements and its FECFile software to help candidates, parties and PACs prepare to file their July quarterly, monthly or mid-year reports.

July 14, 15, 16 – Commission Open/Executive Sessions.

July 28-29, Columbus, OH – State Outreach Program. The schedule is here.

July 29-30 – The FEC will hold a public hearing on improvements to its Website and Internet Communications.  Public comments are due July 21. 

August 5-6, Kansas City, MO – State Outreach Program. The schedule is here.

OTHER RESOURCES

The July issue of The Record is here.