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Week of May 28 – 31, 2019 – FEC.gov

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory opinions

Advisory opinion issued

Advisory Opinion 2019-05 (System73)

On May 30, the Commission approved by tally vote Advisory Opinion 2019-05, concerning a proposal to enter into “license agreements” with political committees for the exclusive rights to livestream the committees’ events. The Commission concluded that the proposal is permissible because the proposed activity is within the media exemption to the prohibition on corporate contributions in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

Request received

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-08 (Omar Reyes for Congress)

On May 30, 2019, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2019-08. The requestor, Omar Reyes for Congress, is a congressional campaign committee that asks whether it may distribute digital blockchain tokens (with no monetary value) to volunteers and supporters as an incentive to engage in volunteer activities. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than June 9, 2019) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by July 28, 2019.

Enforcement

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

MUR 7225

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: Jack Wu
  • SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether Wu, the former treasurer of Rohrabacher for Congress (the Committee), violated the Act, arising from Wu’s embezzlement of over $200,000 of the Committee’s funds.
  • DISPOSITION: On March 21, 2017, the Commission found reason to believe that Wu knowingly and willfully violated the Act by: (1) failing to keep complete Committee records and file accurate reports with the Commission; (2) converting campaign funds to personal use; and (3) commingling Committee funds with personal funds. The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing that Wu may not work for any federal political committee or federal campaign in a capacity involving finances for at least 10 years. The conciliation agreement does not provide for payment of a civil penalty due to the respondent’s demonstration of financial hardship.

MURs 7304 & 7331

  • COMPLAINANT: Committee to Defend the President
  • RESPONDENTS: Hillary Victory Fund and Elizabeth Jones, in her official capacity as treasurer (HVF); Hillary Rodham Clinton; Hillary for America and Elizabeth Jones, in her official capacity as treasurer (HFA); DNC Services Corporation/Democratic National Committee and William Q. Derrough, in his official capacity as treasurer (DNC); Alaska Democratic Party and Carolyn Covington, in her official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Party of Arkansas and Dawne Vandiver, in her official capacity as treasurer; Colorado Democratic Party and Rita Simas, in her official capacity as treasurer; Democratic State Committee (Delaware) and Helene Keeley, in her official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Executive Committee of Florida and Francesca Menes, in her official capacity as treasurer; Georgia Federal Elections Committee and Kip Carr, in his official capacity as treasurer; Idaho State Democratic Party and Leroy Hayes, in his official capacity as treasurer; Indiana Democratic Congressional Victory Committee and Henry Fernandez, in his official capacity as treasurer; Iowa Democratic Party and Ken Sagar, in his official capacity as treasurer; Kansas Democratic Party and Bill Hutton, in his official capacity as treasurer; Kentucky State Democratic Central Executive Committee and M. Melinda Karns, in her official capacity as treasurer; Democratic State Central Committee of LA and Sean Bruno, in his official capacity as treasurer; Maine Democratic Party and Betty Johnson, in her official capacity as treasurer; Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and Paul G. Yorkis, in his official capacity as treasurer; Michigan Democratic State Central Committee and Sandy O’Brien, in her official capacity as treasurer; Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Tyler Moroles, in his official capacity as treasurer; Mississippi Democratic Party and Ryan Brown, in his official capacity as treasurer; Missouri Democratic State Committee and Emily Waggoner, in her official capacity as acting treasurer; Montana Democratic Party and Sandi Luckey, in her official capacity as treasurer; Nevada State Democratic Party and Jan Churchill, in her official capacity as treasurer; New Hampshire Democratic Party and Brian Rapp, in his official capacity as treasurer; New Jersey Democratic State Committee and Kelly Stewart Maer, in her official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Party of New Mexico and Robert Lara, in his official capacity as treasurer; North Carolina Democratic Party – Federal and Anna Tilghamn, in her official capacity as treasurer; Ohio Democratic Party and Rachael Hunsucker, in her official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Party of Oregon and Eddy Morales, in his official capacity as treasurer; Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Alexander Reber, in his official capacity as treasurer; Rhode Island Democratic State Committee and Jeffrey Padwa, in his official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Party of South Carolina and Kathryn Hensley, in her official capacity as treasurer; South Dakota Democratic Party and Bill Nibbelink, in his official capacity as treasurer; Tennessee Democratic Party and Geeta McMillan, in her official capacity as treasurer; Texas Democratic Party and Gilberto Hinojosa, in his official capacity as treasurer; Utah State Democratic Committee and Peter Corroon, in his official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Party of Virginia and Barbara Klear, in her official capacity as treasurer; WV State Democratic Executive Committee and Jerry Brookover, in his official capacity as treasurer; Democratic Party of Wisconsin and Randy A. Udell, in his official capacity as treasurer; and WY Democratic State Central Committee and Chris Russell, in his official capacity as treasurer
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that joint fundraising conducted by HVF, HFA, the DNC, and 38 state party committees resulted in millions of dollars in excessive contributions being funneled through the state party committees to the DNC in violation of the Act’s earmarking regulations and prohibition against making contributions in the name of another. The complaint further alleged that the DNC then contributed those funds to HFA in excess of the Act’s limits.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On May 31, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons .

MUR 7339

  • COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
  • RESPONDENTS: Trump Victory and Bradley T. Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (Trump Victory); Republican National Committee and Anthony W. Parker, in his official capacity as treasurer (RNC); Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and Bradley T. Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (Trump Committee); Donald J. Trump; Alabama Republican Party and Sallie Bryant, in her official capacity as treasurer; Republican Party of Arkansas and Joel Pritchett, in his official capacity as treasurer; California Republican Party and Mario Guerra, in his official capacity as treasurer; Connecticut Republican Party and Warner C. Pyne, III, in his official capacity as treasurer; Illinois Republican Party and Judy A. Diekelman, in her official capacity as treasurer; Kansas Republican Party and Richard L. Todd, in his official capacity as treasurer; Republican Party of Louisiana and Dexter Duhon, in his official capacity as treasurer; Republican Party of Minnesota-Federal and Bron Scherer, in his official capacity as treasurer; Mississippi Republican Party and Paul V. Breazeale, in his official capacity as treasurer; Missouri Republican State Committee-Federal and Patricia Thomas, in her official capacity as treasurer; New Jersey Republican State Committee and April Bengivenga, in her official capacity as treasurer; NY Republican Federal Campaign Committee and Steven Wells in his official capacity as treasurer; North Carolina Republican Party and Jason Lemons, in his official capacity as treasurer; North Dakota Republican Party and Nicholas Hacker, in his official capacity as treasurer; Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania and Dakshinamurthy Raja, in his official capacity as treasurer; South Carolina Republican Party and Sharon Thompson, in her official capacity as treasurer; Tennessee Republican Party Federal Election Account and Frank Colvett, in his official capacity as treasurer; Republican Party of Virginia, Inc. and John G. Selph, in his official capacity as acting treasurer; West Virginia Republican Party, Inc. and Michelle L. Wilshere, in her official capacity as treasurer; Republican Party of Wisconsin and Andrew Hitt, in his official capacity as treasurer; and Wyoming Republican Party, Inc. and Doug Chamberlain, in his official capacity as treasurer (collectively, state party committees)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that joint fundraising conducted by Trump Victory, the RNC, and 21 state party committees was used to funnel millions of dollars in contributions that the RNC ultimately used to support the Trump Committee, in violation of the Act’s contribution limits, earmarking provisions, and prohibition on contributions in the name of another.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. On May 31, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement of Reasons .

MURs 6789 and 6852 (Special Operations for America and Kaarlo Hietala, in his official capacity as treasurer; Zinke for Congress and Lorna Kuney, in her official capacity as treasurer; Ryan K. Zinke; Continental Divide, LLC; and Battle Plan Strategies). On May 28, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioner Caroline C. Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

Litigation

Regulations and agency procedures

  • Interim Final Rule on Senate Filing. The Commission is accepting comments through June 3 on the Interim Rule regarding the point of entry for all campaign finance reports. Comments received may be addressed in a future rulemaking.
  • Electronic Filing Passwords. The Commission has introduced additional security features to its Electronic Filing Password Assignment System. The Commission will now send approval emails to the official email address(es) listed on the committee’s Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1) if a password request is submitted from another email address. The email will allow a committee agent to approve or reject the new password request.

Outreach

  • On May 28, Chair Ellen L. Weintraub participated in the second meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and “Fake News” in Ottawa, Canada.
  • On May 30, Chair Weintraub discussed the role and work of the Commission with students from Villanova University.

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

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

Upcoming reporting due dates

June 20, 2019: June Monthly reports are due. For more information on monthly reporting dates, refer to the 2019 Monthly Reporting page of the Commission website.

Upcoming educational programs

  • On June 12, Commission staff will host a webinar for candidates and their authorized committees.
  • On June 26, Commission staff will host reporting and FECFile webinars for candidate committees.

Additional research materials

FEC Notify: Want to be notified by email when campaign finance reports are received by the agency? Sign up here.

Additional research materials about the agency, campaign finance information, and election results are available through the Library section of the Commission website.

Printed copies of the 2018 edition of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are available. Contact the Commission’s Information Division at (202) 694-1100 or (800) 424-9530 (press 6, when prompted) to order printed copies of the CFR at no charge. You may also email the Information Division to place an order at [email protected]

The 2017 Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations is available. Other Campaign Guides are available, as well.

Federal Elections 2016: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices. To order a printed copy, please contact the FEC’s Public Records Office at 800/424-9530 (option 2) or 202/694-1120, or send an email to [email protected]

The Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available. 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 FEC Record is available as a continuously updated online news source.

Join the FEC on Twitter and YouTube

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 media has not been authorized by the FEC.

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