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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
January 27, 2017   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2017-04

Weekly Digest
Week of January 23 – 27

COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

On January 24, the Commission held an executive session.

On January 25, the Commission held an open meeting and an executive session.

ADVISORY OPINIONS

Opinions Issued

Advisory Opinion 2016-26 (Green Party of Florida). On January 25, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from the Green Party of Florida (the Committee). The Commission concluded that the Committee qualifies as the state committee of a national political party under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, and Commission regulations.

Advisory Opinion 2016-25 (Mike Pence for Indiana). On January 25, the Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to Mike Pence for Indiana, the campaign committee of Vice President Pence’s previous campaign for Governor of Indiana.  The Commission concluded that the requestor may use nonfederal funds to pay for the storage of state campaign assets, legal or accounting expenses necessary to comply with state disclosure requirements applicable to state committees, and legal or accounting expenses for winding down the state campaign, provided that such spending is consistent with state law. During the discussion, the Commission heard from counsel for the requestor.

AUDITS

Final Audit of the Commission on the TeaPartyExpress.org-2012. On January 23, the Commission issued the Final Audit of the Commission on the TeaPartyExpress.org-2012 covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012. The Commission approved findings related to (1) misstatement of financial activity, (2) disclosure of occupation/name of employer, (3) reporting of apparent independent expenditures, (4) recordkeeping for communications, and (5) failure to itemize debts and obligations.

Final Audit of the Commission on the Utah Republican Party. On January 23, the Commission issued the Final Audit of the Commission on the Utah Republican Party covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012. The Commission approved findings related to (1) the receipt of prohibited contributions, (2) receipt of contributions that exceed limits, (3) misstatement of financial activity, (4) recordkeeping for employees, (5) reporting of debts and obligations, and (6) apparent excessive contribution in the form of staff advances.  The report also addresses additional issues regarding the Audit staff’s recommended finding on recordkeeping for employees (monthly payroll logs), which the Commission did not approve by the required four votes.

LITIGATION

CREW, et al. v. FEC (Case 16-5300 & 16-5343). On January 23, the Appellant American Action Network filed an Opposition to the Commission's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  On the same day, the Plaintiffs-Appellees and Cross-Appellants filed a Brief in Response to the Defendant-Appellee Commission's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction.

Independence Institute v. FEC (Case 16-743). On January 26, the Appellant filed an Opposition to the Commission's Motion to Dismiss or Affirm in the United States Supreme Court.

McChesney, et al. v. FEC (Case 8:16-cv-00168-LSC-FG3). On January 23, the Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.

REGULATIONS, RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

Proposed Amendment to Directive 17. On January 25, the Commission held over discussion of a proposed amendment to Directive 17, addressing the certification of Commission tally votes in which fewer than four Commissioners cast approvals and all other Commissioners ''object for the record."

Approval of Payment for Travel Expenses. On January 25, the Commission held over until the next scheduled open meeting discussion of the approval of payment for travel expenses in response to an official invitation.

Party Rulemaking Petitions: The Commission is currently accepting public comments in response to two citizen petitions.  The first, REG 2016-03 Political Party Rules Petition, asks the Commission to revise existing rules regarding the use of federal funds to pay for certain activities of state, district, or local committees of a political party. The second, REG 2014-10 Party Contribution Limits, asks the Commission to amend its regulations to implement amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act made by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which established certain new accounts for national party committees, and to amend the Commission’s regulations regarding convention committees.  The deadline for comments on both petitions is January 30, 2017.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

On January 25, the Commission hosted a Webinar on Year-End Reporting for Candidate Committees.

On January 25, the Commission hosted a Webinar on FECFile for Candidate Committees.

OUTREACH

On January 25-26, Commissioner Ann M. Ravel participated as a reception guest speaker and panel moderator at an event entitled “The 50 State Solution” presented by California Forward in San Francisco, CA.

On January 26, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub testified before the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Maryland Senate in favor of a bill sponsored by Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R) that would restrict foreign spending on ballot issue committees in the state.

PRESS RELEASES

FEC Announces Appointment of Kathleen M. Guith as Associate General Counsel (issued January 23)

FEC Issues Two Advisory Opinions (issued January 25)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

February 1:  The previously scheduled Commission hearing on REG 2011-02: Internet Communication Disclaimers, has been postponed.

February 7:  The Commission is scheduled to hold an executive session.

February 9: 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.

JOIN THE FEC ON TWITTER AND YOUTUBE IN 2017

Follow @FEC on Twitter to receive the latest information on agency updates, news releases, and weekly activity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, FECTube: FECConnect on Demand, to watch instructional videos that have been designed to help candidates and committees comply with federal campaign finance laws. Note that the FEC is not currently available through other social media platforms at this time. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other mediums has not been authorized by the FEC.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS


February 21: Corporate Webinar. Additional information is available on the Educational Outreach page of the Commission website.

UPCOMING REPORTING DUE DATES

January 31, 2017: Year-End Reports are due. For information on reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Reporting Dates page of the Commission website.

DISCLOSURE INITIATIVES

Commission staff, together with our partners at 18F, continue to add new features to the agency's beta.fec.gov website. The Commission encourages website visitors to submit comments and questions by clicking on the “Feedback” tab at the bottom of each page.

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.

The latest 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 Commission has published the January Record newsletter. Sign up to receive email notification when new Record articles are posted.

The latest 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.


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