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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
February 20, 2015   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
.pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2015-08
     

Weekly Digest

Week of February 16 – 20

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

No Commission open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Extension of Time Received

AOR 2014-20 (Make Your Laws PAC). On February 14, the Commission received an Extension of Time until March 23, 2015 on Advisory Opinion Request 2014-20. The requestor, a nonconnected political committee, asks whether foreign nationals may assign intellectual property rights created as a result of volunteer services they provide to the requestor to develop the requestor's website, logos, trademarks and trade dress.

ENFORCEMENT

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

MURs 6521 and 6742
COMPLAINANTS: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; and FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Republican Party of Minnesota and Bron Scherer, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Anthony Sutton
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, and in response to a complaint, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine (1) whether the Republican Party of Minnesota and Bron Scherer, in his official capacity as treasurer (RPM), failed to disclose debts and obligations, and (2) whether Sutton, who served consecutively as the executive director, treasurer and chair of RPM, knowingly and willfully failed to disclose RPM’s debts, violated a previous conciliation agreement and failed to preserve RPM’s records.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found reason to believe RPM failed to disclose a total of $588,321 in receipts, disbursements and debts in a timely manner, and entered into a conciliation agreement providing for RPM to pay a civil penalty of $26,000. The Commission dismissed the allegations as to Sutton in his individual capacity.

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 732 – Friends of John Boehner and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) certify that a representative of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC’s Information Division, (2)certify implementation of internal controls consistent with the Commission’s Internal Controls and Political Committees advisory document and Best Practices for Committee Management, and (3) pay a civil penalty of $4,300.

ADR 736 – New York State Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers Fed VPAF (NYS CONF IUOE FED VPAF) and Theron H. Hogle, in his official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) develop and certify implementation of internal controls consistent with the Commission’s Internal Controls and Political Committees advisory document and Best Practices for Committee Management, (2)develop and certify implementation of a process whereby the Committee’s financial activity is reconciled to each report before the report is filed with the Commission, (3) certify that a representative of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC’s Information Division, and (4) pay a civil penalty of $6,500.

LITIGATION

Public Citizen, et al. v. FEC (Case 14-5199). On February 20, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument.

Stop Hillary PAC v. FEC (Case 1:14-cv-02080-KBJ). On February 17, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Dismissal Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A) in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

OUTREACH

On February 19, Chair Ann M. Ravel and Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub participated in the symposium entitled “How Emerging Technology is Transforming the Electoral Process: From Transparent Fundraising to Increased Voter Participation” hosted by The Institute for Innovation Law at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA. Chair Ravel gave introductory remarks to convene the event.

On February 19, Communications Specialist Zainab Smith discussed the Commission's role and the law's public disclosure requirements with a delegation of Iraqi government and private sector officials as part of a “Good Governance” program sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

On February 20, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen spoke at a political law compliance and readiness seminar hosted by the law firm Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC.

On February 20, Chair Ann M. Ravel and Commissioners Ellen L. Weintraub, Lee E. Goodman and Caroline C. Hunter participated in a meeting with leaders in the technology industry, innovators on voter mobilization, engagement and communication, and academic experts who study the future of campaigns. The event was hosted by Stanford Law School in Stanford, California.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

On February 18, the Commission hosted a Webinar for Corporate PACs.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

On February 20, February Monthly Reports were due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2015 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

March 3 and 5: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

March 5: 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 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS    

March 25: Webinar for Member/Labor PACs. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

March 20: March Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2015 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

April 15: April Quarterly Reports are due. For information on quarterly reporting dates, refer to the 2015 Quarterly Reporting page of the Commission website.

April 20: April Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2015 Monthly Reporting 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 2014 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.

The Commission has published the 2015 Record Index page. An index to previously published Record news articles 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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