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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

May 25, 2012

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
   
 

ISSUE 2012-21

Weekly Digest

Week of May 21 – 25

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On May 22, the Commission held an Executive Session. Click here for Sunshine Act Notices for Executive Sessions.

On May 24, 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.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Advisory Opinions Issued

AO 2012-15 (American Physical Therapy Association). On May 24, the Commission concluded that the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) may implement its plan to use payroll deduction for members who are employed by corporations owned wholly or partly by APTA members, so that the members may make contributions to the APTA Physical Therapy Political Action Committee, APTA' s separate segregated fund. The Commission concluded that the corporations may administer the payroll deduction system provided that APTA makes advance payment for the payroll deduction services the corporations would provide.

Advisory Opinions Considered

AOR 2012-17 (Red Blue T LLC, ArmourMedia, Inc., and m-Qube, Inc.). On May 24, the Commission discussed two drafts and then held over an advisory opinion request from Red Blue T LLC, ArmourMedia, Inc., and m-Qube, Inc. The requestors ask whether their proposal to use mobile phone text messaging to raise funds for political committees is permissible under the Act and Commission regulations. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of Red Blue T LLC, ArmourMedia, Inc., and m-Qube, Inc. On May 21, the Commission received a supplement to the request.

AOR 2012-20 (Mullin). On May 24, the Commission discussed and then held over an advisory opinion request from Markwayne Mullin, a candidate for Congress from Oklahoma, and also the President and CEO of Mullin Plumbing, Inc. and Mullin Plumbing West Division, Inc. (the companies). Mullin has appeared in television and radio commercials and a weekly radio program for the companies for years. Mullin asks whether his appearance in the commercials and the radio program are electioneering communications and, if so, whether, when he files reports for the companies, he would be required to disclose the names and addresses of customers who paid $1,000 or more for services. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of Mullin. On May 24, the Commission received an extension of time until May 30.

Advisory Opinions and Requests are available through the Advisory Opinions search page in the Law and Regulations section of the Commission website.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MUR 6249
RESPONDENTS: Karen Pletz; and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
COMPLAINANT: Self-Initiated and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
SUBJECT:  The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (the University) disclosed information to the Commission that the University had paid additional annual compensation to Pletz, purportedly to reimburse her for expenses including federal and state political contributions.
DISPOSITION: On October 19, 2010, the Commission found reason to believe Pletz made $15,700 in federal political contributions and reimbursed herself with the University’s funds and initiated an investigation. On April 26, 2012, the Commission decided to take no further action in connection with Pletz, who is deceased, or the University in light of its substantial corrective action.

MUR 6524
RESPONDENTS: Biden for President, Inc.; and Melvyn Monzack, in his official capacity as treasurer
COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
SUBJECT:  In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission found that Biden for President, Inc. (the Committee) and Monzack, in his official capacity as treasurer, did not retain adequate records to document the notification of contributors of the Committee’s presumptive redesignation of $1,092,899 in excessive contributions. Biden was a 2008 primary candidate for president.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement whereby Biden for President, Inc. and Monzack, in his official capacity as treasurer, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public two campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program.

AF 2490 – Tim Wooldridge for Congress and Charles R. Partlow, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $3,812.

AF 2498 – Pollak for Congress and Neil Johnson, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $10,587.

For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

AUDITS

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the National Right to Life Political Action Committee (A09-19). On May 24, the Commission approved the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on The National Right to Life Political Action Committee, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. The Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum recommends that the Commission approve the finding presented in the Draft Final Audit Report related to misstatement of financial activity and that the Commission not include a finding concerning disclosure of contributor occupation and name of employer. The Audit Division will prepare the Proposed Final Audit Report, which will incorporate changes based on discussion at today’s open meeting, within 30 days.

LITIGATION

Carey v. FEC (No. 11-259 (RMC)). On May 22, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum and Order ruling on the plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees.

Conway for Senate v. FEC (No. 12-cv-00244 (CRS)). On May 10, Conway for Senate filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

Documents on Enforcement and Compliance Practices. On May 23, the Commission made public a collection of internal documents concerning the agency’s enforcement and compliance practices following the November 3, 2011, oversight hearing of the Subcommittee on Elections of the House of Representatives Committee on House Administration.

Rulemaking Priorities for 2012. On May 24, the Commission approved and made public rulemaking priorities for 2012, as well as a list of additional rulemaking projects.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

On May 23, the Commission hosted a Seminar/Webinar for Trade Associations, Labor Organizations, Membership Organizations and their PACs.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Releases Documents on Enforcement, Compliance Practices (issued May 23)

FEC Issues Advisory Opinion, Approves Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum and Rulemaking Priorities for 2012 (issued May 24)

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

June 20: June Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

July 15: July Quarterly Reports are due. For information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.

July 20: July Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2012 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

OTHER RESOURCES

The 2012 edition of the Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available in the Public Records section of the Commission website. This publication identifies the federal and state agencies responsible for the disclosure of campaign finances, lobbying, personal finances, public financing, candidates on the ballot, election results, spending on state initiatives and other financial filings.

The Record news page is available in the Publications section of the Commission website. Sign up to receive email notification when new articles are posted.

Printed copies of the 2012 edition of 11 CFR are now available. To order, call (800)424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

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