Week of October 3 – 7
On October 4, the Commission held an Executive Session. Click here for Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions.
On October 6, the Commission held an Open Meeting. Click here for agendas and related documents for open meetings. Click here for audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations.
Drafts and Extension of Time
AO 2011-18 (Western Representation PAC). On October 3, the Commission made public two drafts of Advisory Opinion 2011-18, and on October 5, the Commission received an Extension of Time until November 7 on Advisory Opinion Request 2011-18. Western Representation PAC asks whether it must file 24- and 48-hour reports for an Independent Expenditure campaign that will be conducted by email during the 2012 presidential primary elections. Western Representation PAC also asks whether it must attribute its costs to individual State primary elections on its regular monthly reports. The deadline for comments on the drafts has been extended to noon on October 31, 2011.
Advisory Opinions and Requests are available through the Advisory Opinions search page in the Law and Regulations section of the Commission website.
The Commission made public five closed cases.
For information regarding the above matter, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
The Commission made public six campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program.
AF 2162 – Corey Dabney for the United States Senate 2010 and Mark Lingle, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $3,160.
AF 2353 – Cass County Republican Central Committee and Tony P. Key, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $990.
AF 2393 – United Mine Workers of America Power PAC and Daniel J. Kane, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $2,970.
AF 2401 – Burris for Senate and Raymond Davis, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $145.
AF 2422 – Ferre 2010 and Elizabeth M. Tetreault, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $145.
AF 2456 – Robbie Wills for Congress and Robbie Wills, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $550.
For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
Schonberg v. FEC (No. 11-5199). On October 6, appellant Steve Schonberg filed a Response to the Commission's Motion for Summary Affirmance in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The district court dismissed all claims against the Commission and the United States. Schonberg challenges the constitutionality of provisions of the Act, the statute governing representational allowances for Members of the House of Representatives, and legislation commonly referred to as “earmarks.”
Van Hollen v. FEC (No. 1:11-cv-00766 (ABJ)). On September 30, the Commission filed a Reply to the Motions of Hispanic Leadership Fund and Center for Individual Freedom in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Commission also received Defendant Center for Individual Freedom’s Reply in support of its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant Hispanic Leadership Fund's Reply in support of its Cross-Motion to Dismiss. Representative Chris Van Hollen challenges as contrary to law a Commission regulation concerning disclosure of electioneering communications, 11 C.F.R. 104.20(c)(9).
RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES
Agency Procedure Following the Submission of Probable Cause Briefs by the Office of General Counsel. On October 6, the Commission approved an agency procedure to formalize the FEC’s practice in the latter stages of the Probable Cause process in enforcement matters brought under the Act.
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Disclaimers on Certain Internet Communications. On October 6, the Commission approved a draft Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning disclaimers on certain Internet communications. The Commission requests comments on whether and how it should modify or provide exceptions to its rules regarding disclaimers on Internet communications. In the event that the Commission adopts a final rule on this issue, the Commission does not anticipate that the final rule would become effective for the 2011-2012 election cycle, given the timeframe of the current cycle. Comments are due 30 days after publication of the Notice in the Federal Register
Reporting Guidance for Political Committees that Maintain a Non-Contribution Account. On October 5, the Commission issued a statement on Carey v. FEC and provided reporting guidance for political committees that maintain “Non-Contribution Accounts,” consistent with the Commission’s agreement to a stipulated order and consent judgment in that case.
Interpretive Rule on When Certain Independent Expenditures Are “Publicly Disseminated” For Reporting Purposes. On October 4, the Commission published an interpretive rule in the Federal Register to provide guidance on when certain independent expenditure communications such as yard signs, mini-billboards, handbills, t-shirts, hats, buttons and similar, smaller items are “publicly disseminated” for reporting purposes. The Commission clarified that these types of items are “publicly disseminated” on any reasonable date starting with the date the filer receives or exercises control over these items in the usual and normal course of dissemination, up to and including the date that the communications are actually disseminated to the public. Reasonable dates include, but are not limited to (1) the date that a filer receives delivery of the communication, (2) the date that a filer distributes the communication to its members or employees for later public dissemination, (3) the date that a filer distributes the communications to its affiliate member organizations for later public dissemination, (4) the date the filer authorizes its members or employees to display the communication and (5) the date of the actual public dissemination, if that date is known to the filer.
On October 3, Chair Cynthia L. Bauerly discussed federal campaign finance laws and the Commission’s enforcement authority with Ms. Oyuna Tsdevedamba of the Democratic Women's Union of Mongolia.
FEC Statement on Carey v. FEC (issued October 5)
FEC Approves Agency Procedure and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (issued October 6)
UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES
October 13: Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District Special Post-General Election Reports are due. For information on reporting dates for this special election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice section of the Commission website.
October 13: New York’s 9th Congressional District Special Post-General Election Reports are due. For information on reporting dates for this special election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice section of the Commission website.
October 15: October Quarterly Reports are due. For information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2011 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.
October 20: October Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2011 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.
On October 13, 2011, the FEC Commissioners will appear at the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration oversight hearing on “Federal Election Commission: Reviewing Policies, Processes and Procedures.” The hearing will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, 2011, in room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building.
October 25-26, San Diego, CA – Regional Conference for Campaigns, Party Committees and Corporate/Labor/Trade PACs. Registration information and the schedule are on the 2011 Conference Schedule page of the Commission website.
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