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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release
November 20, 2009

Contact: Judith Ingram
Christian Hilland
Julia Queen

ISSUE 2009-28

Weekly Digest

Week of November 16 – 20

COMMISSION MEETINGS

On November 17, the Commission held an Executive Session. Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions are here.

On November 19, 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.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MUR 5818 – Geoffrey Nels Fieger; Vernon R. Johnson; Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Johnson, P.C. The Commission agreed to accept a conciliation agreement providing for Fieger, Fieger, Kenney, Johnson & Giroux, P.C. to pay $131,000.  The Commission decided to take no further action regarding Fieger, Johnson, or the individuals who had served as conduits.

MUR 6195 – Michael Bond for Congress and Brett P. Smiley, in his official capacity as treasurer.  The Commission dismissed the case.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

On November 19, the Commission adopted the Final Rules and an Explanation and Justification on Campaign Travel, implementing a provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA). HLOGA restricts and in some situations prohibits federal candidates and certain political committees from expending campaign funds for campaign travel on non-commercial aircraft. The new rules require presidential, vice-presidential, and Senate candidates and their authorized committees to pay charter rates for campaign travel on most non-commercial flights, while payments for travel on behalf of other political committees remain unchanged. House of Representatives candidates, their authorized committees, and their leadership PACs are generally prohibited from making expenditures for travel on most non-commercial flights. In 2007, the Commission approved different rule text regulating campaign travel on non-commercial aircraft; however, those rules did not take effect because the Commission did not approve  an accompanying Explanation and Justification.

On November 19, the Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) implementing the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion in Shays v. FEC (Shays III) that found invalid aspects of some of the rules the Commission promulgated to implement the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). The NPRM on Participation by Federal Candidates and Officeholders at Non-Federal Fundraising Events proposes three possible alternative approaches to the regulations that govern federal candidates’ and officeholders’ attending, speaking and being featured guests at non-federal fundraising events, as well as their inclusion in publicity relating to such events. Comments from the public on this NPRM are due on or before February 8. For the first time, the Commission will allow responses to the initial comments. These reply comments  will be due on or before February 22. The Commission will hold a hearing on March 10, 2010.

On November 19, the Commission approved an amended agency policy that requires the disclosure of First General Counsel’s Reports on the public record at the conclusion of enforcement cases. The Commission had followed a practice of disclosing such reports in most cases for the first 25 years of its existence. However, in 2007, the agency informally initiated a practice of not placing these reports on the public record. In the interest of promoting transparency, the Commission will release the First General Counsel’s Report for all future closed enforcement matters and it will make these documents public retroactively for all prior closed matters.

November 20 was the deadline for public comments on the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Federal Election Activity, which addresses definitions of get-out-the-vote and voter registration activity, are due. The Commission will hold a hearing on this NPRM on December 16.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Takes Final Action On Four Cases(issued November 19)

FEC Approves Revised Travel Rules and NPRM on Candidates’ Role in Non-Federal Fundraising Events, Widens Disclosure Practice (issued November 19)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

November 20:  Disclosure reports for monthly filers were due. Click here for information on electronic filing.


OUTREACH

On November 16, Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen delivered the keynote address at the "2009 Fall Forum on Money & Politics" hosted by the University of Texas-Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs Center for Politics and Governance.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

November 26: Massachusetts Special Senate Pre-Primary Reports due. For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

OTHER RESOURCES

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

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

Printed copies of the July 2009 updated version of the FEC's Campaign Guide for Political Party Committees are available free of charge. To order, call 1-800/424-9530 (press 6), or e-mail info@fec.gov.