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Week of April 19-23, 2021 – FEC.gov

Commission meetings and hearings

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

On April 22, the Commission held an open meeting.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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

ADR 920

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENT: Million More Voters, Sponsored by the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO and Art Pulaski, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe that the Committee failed to disclose $196,452 in newly incurred debts on its original 2018 October Quarterly Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) work with Commission staff to terminate their political committee status and reporting obligations with the Commission, certify closure of the Committee’s federal account, and file a termination report; and 2) pay a civil penalty of $5,450.

ADRs 966 & 971

COMPLAINANT: Self-Reported and FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENT: Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC PAC and Cecilia Guarin, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The Committee filed a sua sponte submission stating that there was a cash-on-hand discrepancy of $77,176.63 between the Committee’s bank balance and the balance shown on FEC reports. Further, in the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission also initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe that the Committee failed to provide the source of initial receipts and disbursements related to that same $77,176.63 account adjustment disclosed on its 2020 March Monthly Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) attend an FEC training program, 2) certify the implementation of procedures regarding the timely and accurate reporting of voided checks, and 3) pay a civil penalty of $1,625.

ADRs 967 & 969

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENT: Liberty for Us Super PAC and Chris Marston, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe that 1) the Committee failed to timely file six 48-Hour Reports supporting eight independent expenditures totaling $153,400 disclosed on the 2018 July Quarterly Report and the 2018 October Quarterly Report, and 2) the Committee failed to disclose additional receipts totaling $217,474.53 on the Committee’s 2018 July Quarterly Report and 2018 October Quarterly Report combined.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) certify that a representative participated in an FEC training program; 2) develop and certify implementation of a compliance operations manual which includes internal controls; 3) certify that the Committee performed reconciliation of the Committee’s accounts for each required FEC report for one year; and 4) pay a civil penalty of $17,400.

ADR 985

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENT: PROTECTING OUR VOTE PAC and Kimberly A. Woodard, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe that the Committee failed to timely file five 24-Hour Reports totaling $48,623.21 to support 10 independent expenditures disclosed on the 2020 July Quarterly Report.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to 1) develop and certify the implementation of a policy document detailing communication procedures to ensure timely and accurate reporting of independent expenditures; 2) retain an outside consultant to review its compliance procedures and conduct a training with those responsible for preparing and filing its reports; and 3) pay a civil penalty of $3,650.

Regulations and agency procedures

Proposed Commission Actions to Address “Scam PACs” On April 22, the Commission discussed a memorandum from the staff Scam PACs Working Group, which recommended improvements in transparency and educational outreach to help the public identify and avoid potential Scam PACs. Chair Shana M. Broussard directed the working group to continue its work and expand on recommendations outlined in its memo and discussed during the open meeting.

Draft Notice of Availability in REG 2021-01 (Candidate Salaries) On April 22, the Commission approved a Notice of Availability, seeking comment on whether the Commission should initiate a rulemaking on the proposal in the Petition for Rulemaking from Nabilah Islam. The former congressional candidate asks the Commission to amend its existing regulations regarding candidate salaries and permissible uses of campaign funds. Members of the public will be able to submit comments on the proposal for 60 days following the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.

Draft Statement of Policy Regarding Closing the File at the Initial Stage in the Enforcement Process On April 22, the Commission was unable to approve a draft policy statement concerning matters where there are not four affirmative votes to take any of the following actions at the initial stage of the enforcement process: find reason to believe a violation has occurred, dismiss the matter, dismiss the matter with admonishment, or find no reason to believe a violation has occurred. The draft policy statement provides that the file would close in those circumstances unless four Commissioners vote to keep the file open. The Commission received comments on the draft statement on April 8 and April 21.

Outreach

On April 20, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub spoke to students at American University via videoconference about campaign finance and the role of the Commission.

On April 21, the Commission hosted an online workshop on navigating the FEC website.

On April 21, Commissioner Weintraub discussed social media and political disinformation in an online panel and Q&A session as part of the Collision tech conference.

Litigation

Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 20-730) On April 16, Plaintiffs filed a Reply in Further Support of Motion for Default Judgment Against Defendant Federal Election Commission in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

FEC v. Rivera (Case No. 17-22643) On April 21, Defendant filed a Reply to the Commission’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Press Releases

FEC approves Notice of Availability on rulemaking petition, discusses staff work on improving disclosure of potential Scam PAC campaign finance activity (issued April 22)

Upcoming educational programs

April 28, 2021: The Commission will host a webinar for Trade Associations and their PACs.

May 12, 2021: The Commission will host a workshop on registration and Forms 1 and 2 for campaigns.

May 26, 2021: The Commission will host a webinar for political party committees.

August 17-18, 2021: The Commission will host a Regional Hybrid Conference in Denver, CO.

For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.

Upcoming Commission meetings

May 4, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

May 6, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

May 18, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

May 20, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

Upcoming reporting due dates

May 20: May Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2021 Monthly Reporting schedule.

Status of agency operations

See the Commission’s statement on the status of agency operations, updated on April 15, 2021. At this stage, most agency staff remain in telework status and the Commission’s office remains closed to visitors.

Additional research materials

Contribution Limits. In addition to the current limits, the Commission has posted an archive of contribution limits that were in effect going back to the 1975-1976 election cycles.

2020 Presidential General Election Results and Federal Elections 2018: Election Results for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.

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.

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.

Other election-related resources

Videos on protecting U.S. elections. The FBI’s Protected Voices initiative provides videos designed to help political campaigns protect themselves from foreign influence. The 2019 videos offer guidance on ransomware, business email compromise, supply chain, social media literacy, and foreign influence operations. Other videos, released in 2018, include cyber hygiene topics such as social engineering, patching, router hardening, and app and browser safety.

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 currently. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.

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