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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
April 25, 2014   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
.pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2014-17
     

Weekly Digest

Week of April 21 - 25

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On April 22, the Commission held an executive session.

On April 23, the Commission held an open audit hearing on the Democratic Party of Illinois.

On April 23, 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 Considered

AOR 2014-02 (Make Your Laws PAC).  On April 23, the Commission discussed and held over until the next open meeting two draft Advisory Opinions, based on a request from Make Your Laws PAC (MYL PAC). MYL PAC asked several questions related to its receipt, purchase, and disbursement of Bitcoins. During the discussion, the Commission heard from the requestor.

ENFORCEMENT

The Commission made public one closed case, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MUR 6656
COMPLAINANT: Patricia D. Cornwell
RESPONDENTS: Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; and Evan H. Snapper
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP (Anchin) and Snapper violated the confidentiality provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, when Anchin and Snapper identified Cornwell as the subject of an ongoing “FEC investigation” in a motion they filed in a federal district court.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

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

ADR 668 – Nebraska Democratic Party and Gerry Finnegan, in his official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual, (2) certify that a representative of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, (3) develop and certify implementation of a quarterly compliance update training program, and (4) pay a civil penalty of $5,000.

ADR 694 – National Republican Senatorial Committee and Stan Huckaby, in his official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) develop and certify implementation of an internal review process for all independent expenditures, (2) certify the designation of an Independent Expenditure Specialist to review all digital independent expenditures, and (3) pay a civil penalty of $14,500.

ADR 696 – The Tea Party Leadership Fund and Dan Backer, in his official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual, (2) certify that a representative of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, and (3) pay a civil penalty of $3,500.

AUDITS

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Nebraska Democratic Party.  On April 23, the Commission approved the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the Nebraska Democratic Party, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. The Commission approved findings related to recordkeeping for employees, reporting of debts and obligations and excessive coordinated party expenditures. The Commission also directed the Audit Division to include in the Proposed Final Audit Report additional issues addressing recordkeeping for employees paid exclusively from a non-federal account and excessive coordinated party expenditures related to a candidate postcard.

Proposed Final Audit Report on the Democratic Executive Committee of Alabama. On April 23, the Commission approved the Proposed Final Audit Report on the Democratic Executive Committee of Alabama, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. The Commission approved a finding related to recordkeeping for employees. The report also included an additional issue addressing recordkeeping for employees paid exclusively from a non-federal account.

LITIGATION

Free Speech v. FEC (Case 13-772). On April 23, the petitioner filed a Supplemental Brief in the United States Supreme Court.

Kuhn for Congress v. FEC (Case 2:13-cv-03337-PMD-BHH). On April 21, the Commission filed its Reply / Response to Plaintiff’s  Motion to Deny the Commission’s Motion to Dismiss in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Stop Reckless Economic Instability caused by Democrats, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:14-cv-00397-AJT-IDD).  On April 14, Stop Reckless Economic Instability caused by Democrats, Niger Innis, Niger Innis for Congress, Tea Party Leadership Fund and Alexandria Republican City Committee filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The plaintiffs are challenging certain federal contribution limits.

IT INITIATIVES 

On April 23, the Commission introduced FEC Search, an upgraded search engine on its website. FEC Search will allow the public to find and access agency information more easily across multiple databases.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Approves Findings in Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum and Proposed Final Audit Report, Discusses Advisory Opinion Request, Introduces Updated Search Engine and Holds Audit Hearing (issued April 23)

FEC Deploys Upgraded, Expanded Website Search Engine (issued April 23)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

May 6: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

May 8: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

UPCOMING EVENTS

June 4: FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman and Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel will host an informal public forum to discuss agency operations that affect local, state, and national political parties with Commissioners and senior staff. If you would like to attend the forum in person or participate via webcast, or if you are unable to attend but would like to submit written comments, please email us at politicalpartyforum@fec.gov. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of our offices at 202-694-1000.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

May 20: May Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2014 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

April 30, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C. Seminar/Webinar for Corporations and their PACs. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

May 21, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C. Seminar/Webinar for Trade Associations, Labor Organizations, Membership Organizations and their PACs. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

OTHER RESOURCES

The 2014 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 2014 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations can be downloaded from the website.  To order printed copies, call (800)424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.

The 2013 Legislative Recommendations are available on the Commission’s website.

The August 2013 edition of the Federal Election Commission Campaign Guide for Political Party Committees is available on the Commission’s website.

The Official 2012 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing was compiled from the official election results published by state election offices.

An index to the Record news articles published in 2013 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.

Instructional videos are available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/FECTube?feature=watch. These videos are also available on the Commission's E-Learning resources page at http://www.fec.gov/info/elearning.shtml.

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