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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Judith Ingram

September 25, 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland

ISSUE 2009-20

Weekly Digest

Week of September 21 – September 25

COMMISSION MEETINGS

On September 23, the Commission held an Executive Session. Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions are here.

On September 24, the Commission held an Open Session. Agendas and related documents for Open Meetings are here. Audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations are here.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Comments

AOR 2009-13 (Black Rock Group). On September 22, the Commission received a comment on Draft Advisory Opinion Request 2009-13 by Lichtman, Trister & Ross, PLLC, Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C., and Utrecht & Phillips, PLLC. The Commission also received supplementary material from Patton Boggs, LLP, on behalf of Black Rock Group. Black Rock Group, a communications and public affairs firm, seeks to serve as a common vendor advising one or more single-member limited liability companies on their independent expenditures concerning federal candidates and elections. In its request, Black Rock Group asks whether its services would trigger political committee status for its clients.

Advisory Opinions, Requests, Comments and Extensions are available here.


ENFORCEMENT

The Commission made public eight closed cases this week. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6177 – 21st Century Democrats and Bill Combs, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission agreed to accept a conciliation agreement providing for the respondents to pay a civil penalty of $24,000.

MUR 6182 – Andre Walker; David Scott for Congress and Henry Aaron, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

MUR 6076 – Theodore “Ted” F. Stevens; Stevens for Senate and Timothy A. McKeever, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act.

MUR 6055 – Dan Seals for Congress and Harry Pascal, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the matter.

MUR 6084 – John N. Kennedy; John Kennedy for US Senate, Inc. and Keith A. Davis, in his official capacity as Treasurer. The Commission dismissed the matter.

MUR 6193 – McCain-Palin Victory 2008 and Lisa R. Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the matter.

MUR 6087 – Jim Risch for U.S. Senate and R. John Insinger, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed the matter.

MUR 6180 – Chris John; Chris John for US Senate and Joseph A. John, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association. The Commission dismissed the matter.

LITIGATION

EMILY’s List v. FEC. On September 24, Chairman Steven T. Walther made a statement in response to the September 18, 2009 ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in EMILY’s List v. FEC. The Court reversed the decision of the district court and ordered that the district court vacate the challenged regulations. The regulations at issue concern funds received in response to solicitations (11 C.F.R. 100.57), the method for allocating administrative expenses, costs of generic voter drives, and certain public communications (11 C.F.R. 106.6(c)), and payments for public communications and voter drives that refer to one or more clearly identified federal or non-federal candidates (11 C.F.R. 106.6(f)).

SpeechNow.org v. FEC.  On September 23, the Commission filed a brief stating that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff SpeechNow’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff SpeechNow.org has challenged the constitutionality of contribution limits, reporting requirements, and political committee registration requirements as applied to its proposed activities. 

United States v. O’Donnell. On September 23, the Commission filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of appellant the United States. The appellant has asked whether the district court erred when it ruled that the prohibition on making contributions in the name of another person did not apply in this case.

OUTREACH

On September 21, Commissioner Donald McGahn II met with students from American University's Washington Semester Program. The American Politics students are studying campaign and election management and were interested in learning more about FEC operations and campaign finance reform issues.

On September 23, Chairman Steven Walther and Communications Specialist Isaac Baker met with students from American University's Washington Semester Program. The American Politics students are studying campaign finance and were interested in learning about FEC operations and the 2008 and 2010 elections.

On September 25, Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly and Communications Specialist Kathy Carothers met with a four-member delegation from Japan. The group, sponsored by the Embassy of Japan and consisting of an attorney, a university professor, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, and an executive of the Election Committee of the Democratic Party of Japan, was interested in FEC operations, BCRA, and other campaign finance laws.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

On September 24, the Commission approved a proposal to disclose pleadings from all parties involved in FEC litigation, including documents filed by adverse parties and amici, on its website. The inclusion of a wider range of documents is intended to help the public better understand the impact of litigation and is part of the Commission’s effort to promote transparency. Litigation documents can be found here.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Broadens Disclosure of Litigation Documents, Modifies Probably Cause Hearing Procedure (issued September 24)

FEC Chairman Issues Statement Regarding Decision in EMILY’s List v. FEC (issued September 24)

UPCOMING EVENTS

October 28-29, San Francisco, CA – Regional Conference for Campaigns, Party Committees and Corporate/Labor/Trade PACs. The schedule is here.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

October 1 – California 10th District Post-General Report

October 15 – October Quarterly Report

October 20 – October Monthly Report

OTHER RESOURCES

The September issue of The Record is here. Sign up here to receive email notification when a new issue of the Record is posted. 

The September supplements to the FEC’s Campaign Guides are here.