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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

November 2, 2012

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
   
 

ISSUE 2012-44

Weekly Digest

Week of October 29 – November 2

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

The executive session and open meeting previously scheduled for this week were cancelled.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Request Received

AOR 2012-36 (Green Party of Connecticut). On October 31, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2012-36. The Green Party of Connecticut is a political committee that is registered with and reports to the Commission. The Green Party of Connecticut asks to be recognized as the State committee of a political party, the Green Party of the United States.  The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than November 10, 2012) and shall issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, specifically by December 31, 2012.

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

MUR 6438
COMPLAINANT: Democratic Party of Oregon
RESPONDENTS: Arthur B. Robinson; Art Robinson for Congress and Noah Robinson, in his official capacity as treasurer; Althouse Press; Access to Energy; Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine; and Robinson Curriculum
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that (1) Art Robinson for Congress and Noah Robinson, in his official capacity as treasurer, (the Committee) received $70,550 in excessive contributions, (2) Robinson’s businesses made, and the Committee received, corporate contributions and the Committee failed to properly disclose support from his businesses as in-kind contributions, and (3) Robinson’s businesses may have served as conduits for earmarked contributions but neither the businesses nor the Committee filed conduit reports. The complaint alleged further that the Committee failed to disclose contributor information and did not make best efforts to do so, and Robinson and his businesses violated the disclaimer provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).  Robinson was a 2010 candidate in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe the Committee knowingly accepted excessive contributions, because the Committee was entitled to receive a separate contribution limit for each of two primary elections. The Commission also found no reason to believe that Althouse Press, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine or the Robinson Curriculum made and the Committee knowingly accepted corporate contributions because there is no record evidence to support the allegations, which appear to be speculative. The Commission also found no reason to believe that the Committee, Althouse Press or Access to Energy failed to disclose earmarked contributions made through a conduit, because Robinson is the only employee of the two companies and Commission regulations exclude the candidate from the definition of a conduit or intermediary. The Commission dismissed the allegations that the Committee failed to disclose contributor employer and occupation information, in light of the Committee’s improved disclosures later in the election cycle and in furtherance of the Commission’s priorities relative to other matters. The Commission also dismissed the allegation that the Committee accepted excessive contributions from four contributors, in view of the limited number and amount of excessive contributions at issue and the Committee’s corrective actions. Finally the Commission dismissed the allegations that the Committee, Robinson, Althouse Press and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine failed to include disclaimers because the communications at issue contained sufficient identifying information to prevent the public from being misled as to who authorized and paid for the solicitation. The Commission sent a letter reminding the Committee of the requirements on disclosing contributor employer and occupation information, as well as the requirements for disclaimers.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public one campaign finance enforcement matter that was resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program.

AF 2122 – Robinson Committee, LLC and Jack E. Robinson, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $6,050.

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

LITIGATION 

Free Speech v. FEC (Case 12-8078). On October 29, the Commission filed its Opposition to Appellant's Motion for Emergency Injunction in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. On the same day, the Court issued an order denying the plaintiff-appellant’s Motion for Emergency Injunction Pending Appeal.

James v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-01451-JEB-JRB-RLW). On October 31, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order dismissing the plaintiff’s challenge to the aggregate limit on contributions to federal candidates.

Johnson v. FEC (Case 12-1418). On October 31, the petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss Petition for Review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Tea Party Leadership Fund, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-1707-RWR). On November 1, the Commission filed its Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Wagner v. FEC (Case 1:11-cv-01841-JEB). On October 31, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held a hearing on the Motions for Summary Judgment.

OUTREACH

On October 31, Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub discussed Commission operations and campaign finance law with a group of journalists and political leaders from France, Sweden, Singapore, and Indonesia as part of the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program.

On November 1, Vice Chair Weintraub discussed Commission operations and campaign finance law with a group of government and political leaders from Central and South America as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program.

On November 2, Communications Specialist Christopher Berg discussed the role and operations of the Commission with a group of Argentine Congressional staff members.

On November 2, Communications Specialist Myles Martin discussed the campaign finance law with a group of young political and government leaders from Hong Kong.

PRESS RELEASES

Appeals Court Issues Order in Free Speech v. FEC (issued October 31)

District Court Issues Opinion in James v. FEC (issued November 1)

Federal Election Commission Certifies Federal Matching Funds for Jill Stein for President (issued November 2)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

November 8: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

December 12: On Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., the Commission will hold a public hearing to discuss several key issues related to its enforcement process, including issues relating to the documents that were released to the public recently. Any general questions and comments related to the documents can be sent to Documents_Feedback@fec.gov.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

November 14, Federal Election Commission, Washington, DC. Roundtable Workshop/Webinar on Winding Down the Campaign. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website. 

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

December 6:  Post-General Reports are due.  For information on general election reporting dates, refer to the 2012 General Election 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.

An index to the Record news articles published in 2012 is available on the Commission website. 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.

The FEC Annual Reports from 1975-2006 are now available on the website. Beginning in 2007, the Commission consolidated its Annual Report with its Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) to provide a single account of the agency's activities for each fiscal year.

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

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