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Weekly Digests


For Immediate Release
Contact:
Judith Ingram
February 3, 2017   Christian Hilland
    Julia Queen
     
PDF
pdf version of this Weekly Digest   ISSUE 2017-05

Weekly Digest
Week of January 31 – February 3


COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS


On January 31, the Commission held an executive session.

The Commission hearing on REG 2011-02: Internet Communication Disclaimers previously scheduled for February 1 was postponed.

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 796
COMPLAINANT:  FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS:  Duckworth for Congress and Keith D. Lowey, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee failed to remedy impermissible 2016 General Election contributions.
DISPOSITION:  The Committee agreed to certify the closure of the Committee’s federal account and file a termination report, work with the Commission staff to terminate their political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission and pay a civil penalty of $2,280.

ADR 806
COMPLAINANT:  FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS:  Rodney for Congress and Chris Marston, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee failed to disclose all disbursements on its Pre-Primary report for 2016.
DISPOSITION:  The Committee agreed to 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, 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 pay a civil penalty of $3,400.

ADR 812
COMPLAINANT:  FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS:  Foundation for a Greater America, Inc. and Anastasia Ault, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee failed to disclose all disbursements on its Post-General report for 2014.
DISPOSITION:  The Committee agreed to certify the closure of the Committee’s federal account and file a termination report, work with the Commission staff to terminate their political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission and pay a civil penalty of $3,750.

LITIGATION

CREW v. FEC (Case 1:16-cv-01088-RJL). On January 30, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Level the Playing Field, et al. v. FEC (Case 1:15-cv-01397-TSC). On February 1, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order .

REGULATIONS, RULEMAKING AND AGENCY PROCEDURES

REG 2016-03 Political Party Rules Petition. The Commission has received public comments regarding REG 2016-03 Political Party Rules Petition.  The petition asked 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.

REG 2014-10 Party Contribution Limits. The Commission has received public comments regarding REG 2014-10 Party Contribution Limits. Petitioners asked 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.

OUTREACH

Deputy Press Officer Christian Hilland and Communications Specialist Chris Berg discussed the role and work of the Commission with a delegation from Afghanistan. The group was visiting the U.S. as part of the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

On January 27, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) made public the Results of Its November 2016 Investigative Peer Review.

On February 2, the Commission made public the 2017-2018 Price Index Adjustments for Contribution and Expenditure Limitations and Lobbyist Bundling Disclosure Threshold on the Commission website. During the current, two-year election cycle, the limit for contributions by individuals to federal candidates for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives remains $2,700 per election. The limit for contributions by individuals and nonmulticandidate PACs to national party committees has risen to $33,900, while the limit for individual and nonmulticandidate PAC contributions to each of the additional national party committee accounts has increased to $101,700 per year. The lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold for 2017 is $17,900.

FEDERAL REGISTER

On February 2, the Commission published in the Federal Register its updated Civil Penalty Amounts for 2017, pursuant to a federal law that requires federal agencies to adjust civil penalties for inflation each year.

REPORTING DUE DATES

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

PRESS RELEASES

District Court Issues Opinion in CREW v. FEC (issued January 31)

FEC Announces 2017-2018 Campaign Cycle Contribution Limits (issued February 2)

District Court Issues Opinion in Level the Playing Field, et al. v. FEC (issued February 2)

UPCOMING COMMISSION MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

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

February 9: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting and an executive session.

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

February 20: February Monthly Reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2017 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

The Commission posted the filing deadlines for the Special General Election in California's 34th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

The Commission posted the filing deadlines for the Special General Election in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. For information on reporting dates for this election, refer to the Special Election Report Notice.

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

The Official 2016 Presidential General Election Results are available in the Library section of the website. This listing was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.

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 February 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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