Skip Navigation
Federal Election Commission, United States of America (logo). Link to FEC Home Page
Federal Election Commission
Search

 


HOME / PRESS OFFICE / NEWS

Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

April 30, 2010

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
  Mary Brandenberger
 

 

ISSUE 2010-17

Weekly Digest

Week of April 26 – 30

COMMISSION MEETINGS

On April 27, the Commission held an Executive Session. Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions are here.

On April 29, the Commission held an Open Session. Agendas and related documents for Open Meetings are here. Audio recordings of meetings, hearings and presentations are here.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Opinion Issued

AO 2010-04 (Wawa, Inc.). On April 29, the Commission approved  Advisory Opinion 2010-04, concluding that the five Wawa managers described in the request meet the statutory and regulatory requirements to qualify as “executive and administrative personnel” of the corporation.  Corporations are permitted to solicit contributions for their separate segregated funds at any time only from members of their restricted classes including executive and administrative personnel.

Extension of Time Received

AOR 2010-03 (National Democratic Redistricting Trust). On April 29, the Commission received an Extension of Time until May 7 on an advisory opinion request submitted by the National Democratic Redistricting Trust. The requestor asks whether Members of Congress may solicit funds outside the Act’s amount limitations and source prohibitions for a trust established to pay for pre-litigation and litigation costs in connection with legislative redistricting. 

Request Received

AOR 2010-08 (Citizens United).  On April 29, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2010-08, in which Citizens United asks whether its production and distribution of documentary films and accompanying marketing activities qualify for (a) the press exemption to the Act’s disclosure, disclaimer, and reporting requirements for expenditures and electioneering communications, and (b) the exception to such requirements that has been applied to “bona fide commercial activity” by commercial entities. The Commission must issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, or June 25, 2010.

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

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Commission made public two campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

ADR 524  – New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee and Jane Corwin as Treasurer. The respondents agreed to implement compliance measures, send a representative to an FEC conference and pay a civil penalty of $2,500.

ADR 536  – Tom White for Congress. The Commission dismissed the case.

AUDITS

Tennessee Democratic Party. On April 29, the Commission considered proposed findings in an audit report of the Tennessee Democratic Party, covering the 2005-2006 election cycle. The Commission approved part of one finding concerning non-allocable federal activities, specifically that payments for certain automated phone banks and customized giveaways are non-allocable federal election activities.  The Commission did not approve the proposed finding with respect to whether costs associated with polling and with campaign rallies constituted non-allocable federal election activities. The Commission approved another finding that certain itemized disbursements failed to include adequate payee address information on disclosure reports to the Commission. The Commission will issue its final audit report the Tennessee Democratic Party at a later date. 

Friends for Menor. On April 29, the Commission considered proposed findings in an audit report of Friends for Menor, the principal campaign committee of Ron Menor, who sought election in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in 2006. The Commission approved a finding that the committee received excessive contributions from three individuals, but did not approve the part of the proposed finding that the committee received a prohibited corporate contribution.  The Commission did not approve a second finding that the committee received an excessive contribution from the candidate’s spouse. The Commission will issue its final audit report of Friends for Menor at a later date.

LITIGATION

The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission. On April 26, the United States Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for further consideration in light of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), and the Solicitor General's suggestion of mootness.

Cao v. FEC. On April 26, the Commission filed a Sur-Reply in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Plaintiffs have challenged the constitutionality of coordinated expenditure limits, both under the party expenditure provision in 2 U.S.C. 441a(d) and the $5,000 limit on party contributions to candidates in 2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(2)(A).

Schonberg v. FEC. On April 26, the Commission filed an Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Ocala Division. In this case, plaintiffs filed a complaint against the FEC and certain Members of Congress and also requested an emergency injunction and an emergency three-judge court. The plaintiffs alleged that portions of the Federal Election Campaign Act that permit Members of Congress to lead campaign committees are unconstitutional because they violate the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution, which states that Members of Congress cannot hold other federal offices while in Congress.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

The Commission approved Final Rules and Explanation and Justification on participation by federal candidates and officeholders at non-federal fundraising events. The final rules permit a federal candidate or officeholder to attend, speak at, and appear as featured guests at non-federal fundraising events so long as the federal candidate or officeholder does not solicit funds outside the amount limitations and source prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act).   Federal candidates and officeholders may also appear in pre-event publicity for a non-federal fundraising event so long as the federal candidate or officeholder is not personally soliciting funds outside the amount limitations and source prohibitions of the Act.  These final rules were promulgated in response to the decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Shays v. FEC, 528 F.3d 914 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

April 26:  Utah Constitution, Democratic and Republican Party Pre-Convention Reports. For information on reporting dates for this convention, click here.

April 26:  Virginia Democratic Party (District #1) Pre-Convention Report due.  For information on reporting dates for this convention, click here.

April 28:  Connecticut Democratic Party (House) Pre-Convention Report due.  For information on reporting dates for this convention, click here.

April 29:  Nebraska Pre-Primary Report due.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

April 29:  West Virginia Pre-Primary Report due.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Takes Final Action on Five Cases (issued April 27)

FEC Approves Final Rules On Non-Federal Fundraising Events, Considers Two Advisory Opinions And Votes On Audit Reports  (issued April 30)

NEXT WEEK (MAY 37)

May 3-4, Washington, D.C., Conference for House and Senate Campaigns and Political Party Committees.  The conference registration information and agenda are here.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

May 3:  South Carolina Working Families Party Pre-Convention Reports. For information on reporting dates for this convention, click here.

May 3:  Utah Libertarian Party Pre-Convention Reports. For information on reporting dates for this convention, click here.

May 6:  Arkansas Pre-Primary Reports.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

May 6:  Kentucky Pre-Primary Reports.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

May 6:  Oregon Pre-Primary Reports.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

May 6:  Pennsylvania Pre-Primary Reports.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

May 6:  Pennsylvania 12th District Pre-General Reports.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

May 6:  Pennsylvania Pre-Primary Reports.  For information on reporting dates for this election, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

June 8-9, Arlington, VA.  Regional Conference for Trade Associations, Membership Organizations, and Labor Organizations and their Political Action Committees. The conference registration information and agenda are here.

OTHER RESOURCES


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

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