Week of January 4 – 8
COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
No Commission open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
The Commission made public two closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANTS: Green Party of the United States and Libertarian National Party, Inc.
RESPONDENTS: Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD); Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, Co-Chairs, CPD
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that CPD, Fahrenkopf and McCurry failed to comply with the Commission’s regulations governing debate sponsorship because it allegedly is not non-partisan and failed to apply pre-established, objective criteria. As a result, CPD allegedly made prohibited contributions and expenditures, accepted prohibited contributions and failed to register and report as a political committee.
DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe that a violation occurred because the debates staged by the CPD satisfy the requirements of Commission debate regulations and thus the CPD’s expenditures on debates are not contributions or expenditures under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act). Therefore, CPD did not meet the Act’s definition of a political committee subject to the Act’s registration and reporting requirements.
COMPLAINANT: Congressional Leadership Fund and Brian Walsh, President
RESPONDENTS: House Majority PAC and Shannon Roche, in her official capacity as treasurer; Alex Sink for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer; Largo/Mid-Pinellas Democratic Club; Elizabeth Snedeker; and Rich Piper
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that House Majority PAC and Roche, in her official capacity as treasurer, an independent expenditure-only political committee, made an excessive contribution in the form of a coordinated communication and that Alex Sink for Congress and May, in her official capacity as treasurer, or the Democratic Party received or accepted such a contribution either directly or acting through the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Democratic Club, Piper or Snedeker. Sink was a 2014 special election candidate for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission concluded that pursuing the matter further would not be an efficient use of the Commission’s resources, and thus exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter.
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 773 – Kevin McCarthy for Congress and Jill Thomson, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission dismissed and closed the file.
ADR 778 – Ohio Republican Party State Central & Executive Committee and Ranae Lentz, in her official capacity as treasurer. The respondent agreed to (1) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual that includes internal controls consistent with those described in the Commission’s Internal Controls and Political Committees advisory document and the Best Practices for Committee Management, (2) 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 (3) pay a civil penalty of $3,000.
Independence Institute v. FEC (Case 14-5249). On January 6, the Plaintiff-Appellant filed a Supplemental Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Also on January 6, the Commission filed its Supplemental Brief.
Level the Playing Field, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:15-cv-01397-TSC). On January 5, the Plaintiffs filed the Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Public Citizen, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:14-cv-00148-RJL). On December 31, the Commission filed its Amended Certified List of Contents of the Administrative Record in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Pursuing America's Greatness v. FEC (Case 15-5264). On December 23, the Pacific Legal Foundation and James Madison Center for Free Speech filed a Brief Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiff-Appellant and Reversal in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
January 14, 2016: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
January 26, 2016: The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.
January 28, 2016: 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
January 13, 2016: Webinars for PACs and Party Committees on Year-End Reporting and FECFile. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.
January 20, 2016: Webinars for Candidate Committees on Year-End Reporting and FECFile. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.
UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES
January 31, 2016: Year-End Reports are due. For information on general election reporting dates, refer to the 2015 Reporting Dates page of the Commission website.
ADDITIONAL RESEARCH MATERIALS
Additional research materials about the agency, campaign finance information and election results are available through the Library section of the Commission website.
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