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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
December 12, 2014   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
.pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2014-50
     

 

Weekly Digest

Week of December 8 – 12

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On December 9, the Commission held an executive session.

On December 11, the Commission held an open meeting.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

AO 2014-18 (Rayonier Advanced Materials et al.). On December 11, the Commission concluded that the separate segregated fund of Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. is not affiliated with the separate segregated fund of Rayonier Inc. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel on behalf of the requestors.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MUR 6435
COMPLAINANT: National Legal and Policy Center by Kenneth F. Boehm, Chairman
RESPONDENTS: Representative Charles B. Rangel; National Leadership PAC and David A. Paterson, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Rangel for Congress and David A. Paterson, in his official capacity as treasurer
SUBJECT:  The complaint alleged that the National Leadership PAC (NLP) made and Rangel, Rangel for Congress and Paterson, in his official capacity as treasurer, received unreported, excessive contributions when NLP paid $393,000 for legal fees incurred by Rangel in connection with an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics. Rangel represents New York’s 15th Congressional District and is the sponsor of NLP, a leadership PAC.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in light of the lack of information supporting the allegations and the fact that the record established that NLP incurred its own legal expenses in connection with certain governmental investigations and legal proceedings.

MUR 6754
COMPLAINANT: AMVETS (American Veterans)
RESPONDENTS: AMVETS; and Velma Hart
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that AMVETS, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, made $1,500 in corporate contributions to a political action committee through the actions of Hart, its then national Finance Director.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in light of the fact that $750 of the $1,500 in contributions at issue appear to fall outside the five-year statute of limitations and that the remaining $750 at issue is de minimis.

Revised Enforcement Manual. On December 11, the Commission discussed and voted on a revised draft Enforcement Manual, but was unable to reach agreement by the required four affirmative votes.

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES

The Commission made public two campaign finance enforcement matters that were resolved through its Administrative Fines (AF) program, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

AF 2794 – Cassie Felder Campaign LLC and Corey William Dorsa, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $1,717.

AF 2799 – Joe Palumbo for Congress and Keith Buckhout, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $124.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Commission made public two 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 726 – Joe Kyrillos for US Senate, Inc. and Ronald Gravino, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee). The respondent agreed to (1) certify the closure of the Committee’s federal account and work with Commission staff to terminate its political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission and (2) pay a civil penalty of $5,200.

ADR 734 – Congressional Leadership Fund and Caleb Crosby, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee). The respondent agreed to (1) certify that the Committee has designated a compliance specialist, (2) certify that a Committee representative participated in an FEC conference or other program, and (3) pay a civil penalty of $1,550.

LITIGATION 

Independence Institute v. FEC (Case 14-5249). On December 8, the appellant filed a Combined Motion for Summary Reversal and Response to Commission’s Motion for Summary Affirmance  in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Public Citizen, et al. v. FEC (Case 14-5199). On December 10, the Commission filed a Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Rufer, et al. v. FEC (Case 14-5240) and Republican National Committee, et al., v. FEC (Case 14-5241). On December 10, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a Per Curiam Order.

Stop This Insanity, Inc., et al. v. FEC  (Case 14-391). On December 5, the Solicitor General filed, on behalf of the Commission, a Brief for the Respondent in Opposition in the United States Supreme Court.

RULEMAKING

Petition to Amend 11 C.F.R. 100.4 – Draft Notice of Disposition. On December 11, the Commission approved a Notice of Disposition of Petition for Rulemaking, declining to initiate a rulemaking at this time. The petition asked the Commission to amend 11 C.F.R. 100.4 to revise the definition of “federal office” to include delegates to a constitutional convention.

LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS

2014 Legislative Recommendations.  On December 11, the Commission unanimously approved seven legislative recommendations for 2014 to be submitted for consideration to Congress: (1) requiring electronic filing for all Senate candidates and their authorized committees; (2) requiring electronic filing of reports of electioneering communications; (3) deleting the exclusion of the Commission from eligibility for the Senior Executive Service; (4) expanding the prohibitions on fraudulent misrepresentation of campaign authority; (5) making permanent the Administrative Fine program for reporting violations; (6) increasing and indexing for inflation certain registration and reporting thresholds in the Federal Election Campaign Act and (7) authorizing the Commission to accept gifts that will assist the Commission in carrying out its functions.

OUTREACH

Between December 7 and 10, Chairman Lee E. Goodman, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub and several senior Commission staff members traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the annual conference of the Council of Government Ethics Laws (COGEL), a professional organization for government agencies, organizations, and individuals with responsibilities in governmental ethics, elections, campaign finance, lobbying laws and freedom of information.

On December 10, Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel met with representatives from the Brennan Center’s Money in Politics team and individuals from their Democracy Program in New York City, New York.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Approves Advisory Opinion and Legislative Recommendations, Declines to Initiate Rulemaking on Revising Definition of “Federal Office,” Discusses Revised Draft Enforcement Manual (issued December 11)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS

December 16: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

December 17: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

Meeting dates are subject to change. Please contact the Press Office the week of the scheduled meeting for confirmation.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

January 31, 2015: Year-End Reports are due. For information on general election reporting dates, refer to the 2014 Reporting Dates 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 2014 edition of the Federal Election Commission Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees is 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 Record news articles published 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 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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