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Week of August 19 – 23, 2019 – FEC.gov

Commission meetings and hearings

On August 20 and 22, the Commission met in executive session.

On August 22, the Commission held an open meeting.

Advisory opinions

Advisory Opinion 2019-14 (Arizona Libertarian Party)

On August 22, the Commission approved an advisory opinion request from the Arizona Libertarian Party (AZLP), concluding that the requestor may transfer funds to the National Libertarian Party but that the transfer would cause AZLP to exceed the monetary threshold requiring the AZLP to register and report as a political committee.

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-10 (Price for Congress)

On August 22, the Commission discussed four draft advisory opinions in response to an advisory opinion request from Price for Congress, the principal campaign committee of former Representative Dr. Thomas Price, but was unable to reach consensus by the required four affirmative votes. The requestor asked whether it may contribute committee assets to a non-profit organization and whether that organization may engage in certain activities if Dr. Price will serve as its president and CEO.

Advisory opinion request received

Advisory Opinion Request 2019-16 (Shemanski)

On August 22, the Commission made public an advisory opinion request from Philip Shemanski. The requestor asks whether he may use the initials of a candidate’s name in the name of an unauthorized political committee. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than September 3) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by October 18, 2019.

Enforcement

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

MURs 7511

COMPLAINANT: Joseph Macaluso
RESPONDENT: Alison Hartson 2018 and Alison Hartson, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to report a disputed debt for campaign consulting services. Hartson was a 2018 primary candidate for California’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the Committee amended its reports to include the disputed debt.

MUR 7564

COMPLAINANT: Matt Stevens
RESPONDENT: AJ Kern for Congress and John W. Kern, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the committee did not file a 2018 Pre-General Report or a 2018 Post-General Report because AJ Kern, a 2018 candidate from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, asked the Minnesota Secretary of State to count any general election write-in votes she received.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the complaint in consideration of Commission priorities.

MUR 7576

COMPLAINANT: David Xaviel
RESPONDENTS: Jackhole Productions; CBS Corporation; The Walt Disney Company; and Spartina Productions Inc.
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that ABC and Jimmy Kimmel Live made an unreported in-kind contribution because the show was a commercial for the Democratic Party and that CBS and the Late show with Stephen Colbert allowed “deliberate and calculated propaganda” on the show.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed that the media exemption appears to have covered the respondents’ activities.

MUR 7604

COMPLAINANT: Bobbie Todd
RESPONDENT: Friends of Vangie Williams and Stacy Bullock, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to report certain debts and obligations. Williams was a 2018 candidate for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities. The Commission observed the modest amount at issue and partial remedial actions taken by the Committee.

MURs 6940, 7097, 7146, 7160 & 7193 (Correct the Record and Elizabeth Cohen, in her official capacity as treasurer; Hillary for America and Elizabeth Jones, in her official capacity as treasurer; Priorities USA Action and Greg Speed, in his official capacity as treasurer ; David Brock; Hillary Rodham Clinton; DNC Services Corp./DNC and William Q. Derrough, in his official capacity as treasurer ; Charlie Baker; John Podesta; Robby Mook; Dennis Cheng; Elizabeth Christina Reynolds; Karen Finney; Mary Pat Bonner; and American Bridge 21st Century and Rodell Mollineau, in his official capacity as treasurer). On August 22, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioner Caroline C. Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

Administrative fines

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

AF 3572
Seth Hall for Congress and Seth B. Hall, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $410.

AF 3622
American Principles and Eytan Laor, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $3,296.

AF 3664
American Academy of Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee AAEM PAC and William T. Durkin, Jr., in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and closed the file.

AF 3667
Anesthesia Service Medical Group Advocacy Fund and C. April Boling, in her official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and closed the file.

Audits

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the South Dakota Democratic Party
On August 22, the Commission approved an Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on the South Dakota Democratic Party, covering campaign finance activity between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. The Commission approved findings relating to misstatement of financial activity (increased activity), contributions from unregistered organizations, and reporting of debts and obligations.

Litigation

Libertarian National Committee, Inc. v. FEC (Case No. 19-XX) On August 19, the Petitioner filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

Regulations and agency procedures

Internet Ad Disclaimers Rulemaking Proposal for REG 2011-02 (Internet Communication Disclaimers and Definition of “Public Communication”)
On August 22, the Commission discussed the status of the Internet Ad Disclaimers Rulemaking.

REG 2019-02 (Amend 11 C.F.R. § 104.5(c)) – Notification of Availability
On August 22, the Commission approved a Notification of Availability seeking comment on whether the Commission should initiate a full rulemaking on a proposal to require any unauthorized committee that starts an election year as a quarterly filer to maintain that status through any primary elections in which the committee is involved.

REG 2019-03 (Mailing List Exchange) – Notification of Availability
On August 22, the Commission approved a Notification of Availability seeking comment on whether the Commission should initiate a full rulemaking on a proposal to amend 11 C.F.R. § 104.3 to clarify that a political committee’s receipt or disbursement of a membership or other valuable list must be reported, even when the list was received or disbursed as part of a purported equal value list swap.

REG 2019-04 (Reporting Segregated Party Accounts) – Notification of Availability
On August 22, the Commission approved a Notification of Availability seeking comment on whether the Commission should initiate a full rulemaking on a proposal to promulgate rules to specifically require reporting of receipts and disbursements of the accounts created by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.

Press releases

FEC approves advisory opinion, Notifications of Availability, and Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum (issued August 22)

FEC announces appointment of Neven F. Stipanovic as Associate General Counsel (issued August 22)

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

September 10 and 12: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

September 12: 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 reporting due dates

September 20: September 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 August 27-28, the Commission will host a Regional Conference in Chicago, IL for candidates, political parties, and political action 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 2019 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 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.

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 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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