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Weekly Digest

 

For Immediate Release

Contact

Judith Ingram

November 9, 2012

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
   
 

ISSUE 2012-45

Weekly Digest

Week of November 5 – 9

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On November 8, the Commission held an executive session.

No Commission open meetings were held this week. Click here for agendas and related documents for open meetings. Click here for audio recordings for selected meetings, hearings and presentations.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Drafts

AO 2012-34 (Freedom PAC and Friends of Mike H). On November 9, the Commission made public a draft of Advisory Opinion 2012-34. The requestors ask about the amount of contributions that Freedom PAC, an independent expenditure-only committee, may accept from Friends of Mike H, an authorized committee of a federal candidate. Comments on the draft are due by noon on November 14. This advisory opinion is on the agenda for the Commission’s November 15, 2012, open meeting.

Requests Received

AOR 2012-37 (Yamaha Motor Corporation., U.S.A.). On November 8, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2012-37 (Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.)  Yamaha, a California corporation, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., a Japanese corporation, and Yamaha Marine is a division of Yamaha. Yamaha asks whether it may form a separate segregated fund and, if so, whether it may solicit contributions from the executive and administrative personnel of certain dealers and service centers. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than November 19, 2012) and shall issue a response no later than 60 days after receipt of the complete request, specifically by January 4, 2013.

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

MUR 6550
COMPLAINANT: John McDonald
RESPONDENT: Committee to Elect Sean Summers and Joseph N. Gothie, in his official capacity as treasurer
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee to Elect Sean Summers and Gothie, in his official capacity as treasurer, (the Committee) was responsible for distributing flyers that failed to provide required disclaimer information.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in light of the small-scale distribution of the flyers, the de minimis production cost and the fact that the public was unlikely to have been misled as to who paid for the flyers, as well as in furtherance of the Commission’s priorities relative to other matters.

MUR 6553
COMPLAINANT: Gregory Wright
RESPONDENT: Friends of Dick Lugar, Inc. and Matthew R. Nicholson in his official capacity as treasurer; and Senator Dick Lugar
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Lugar and Friends of Dick Lugar, Inc. and Nicholson, in his official capacity as treasurer, (the Committee) used official Senate funds for Lugar’s travel from Washington, D.C. to Indiana to campaign and attend fundraisers.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that Lugar and the Committee violated the Act or Commission regulations because there was no information indicating that the Committee misreported or failed to report costs associated with the campaign events at issue.

MUR 6618
COMPLAINANT: Self-Initiated
RESPONDENT: United Power, Inc.
SUBJECT: United Power, Inc. disclosed to the Commission information that it had reimbursed with corporate treasury funds contributions made by members of its board of directors.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement, whereby United Power, Inc. agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2,400. United Power also agreed to waive contribution refunds and requested the recipient of the contributions to disgorge $7,956 to the U.S. Treasury.

AUDITS

Final Audit Report on the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee. On November 7, 2012, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2008. The Commission approved findings related to the misstatement of financial activity and the misstatement of Levin Fund financial activity.

Final Audit Report on the National Campaign Fund. On November 7, 2012, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the National Campaign Fund, covering February 4, 2008, and December 31, 2008.  The Commission approved findings related to the misstatement of financial activity and the failure to file notices and properly disclose independent expenditures.  The report also addressed an additional issue related to the reporting of payments for communications, noting that the Commission did not approve a proposed finding by the required four votes. A Statement of Reasons was issued by Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioners Cynthia L. Bauerly and Steven T. Walther.

Final Audit Report on Paul Tonko for Congress. On November 2, 2012, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on Paul Tonko for Congress, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.  The Commission approved findings related to the receipt of prohibited contributions and misstatement of financial activity.

Final Audit Report on the Washington State Republican Party. On November 7, 2012, the Commission made public the Final Audit Report of the Commission on the Washington State Republican Party, covering campaign activity between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.  The Commission approved findings related to the misstatement of financial activity, misstatement of Levin Fund financial activity and failure to report debts to vendors.

Click here for general information about Final Audit Reports. Audits are segregated into three categories: Authorized Committees, Unauthorized Committees, and Title 26 Audit Reports.

LITIGATION 

Herron for Congress v. FEC (Case 1:11-cv-01466-RC). On November 8, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and granting the Commission's cross-motion for summary judgment.

James v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-01451-JEB-JRB-RLW). On November 1, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ralph Nader v. FEC (Case 1:10-cv-989-BAH). Oral arguments are scheduled for January 14, 2013, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Stop This Insanity, Inc. Employee Leadership Fund, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-01140-BAH). On November 5, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction and granting the Commission's motion to dismiss.

Tea Party Leadership Fund, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:12-cv-1707-RWR). On November 2, the plaintiffs filed a Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion for Emergency Preliminary Injunction in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Wagner v. FEC (Case 1:11-cv-01841-JEB). On November 2, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and granting the Commission's motion for summary judgment. On November 8, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

OUTREACH

On November 5, Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub discussed Commission operations and campaign finance law with government and political leaders from Burma and with a group of business and civic leaders from Argentina. Vice Chair Weintraub also met with Norway's Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Liv Signe Navarsete.

On November 6, Vice Chair Weintraub met with Christine Kelly, a Commissioner from France's Conseil Superiuer De L'Audiovisuel (CSA), to discuss Commission operations and campaign finance.

On November 7, Vice Chair Weintraub discussed Commission operations and campaign finance law with a group from several North African countries. Vice Chair Weintraub also met with former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, and a group of Dutch civic and political leaders.

On November 8, Vice Chair Weintraub met with election officials from the United Arab Emirates and discussed Commission operations and campaign finance law with a group of young political leaders from Australia.



PRESS RELEASES

District Court Issues Opinion in Wagner v. FEC (issued November 5)

District Court Issues Opinion in Stop This Insanity, Inc. Employee Leadership Fund, et al. v. FEC (issued November 6)

District Court Issues Opinion in Herron v. FEC (issued November 9)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

November 15: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

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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