Commission meetings and hearings
No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.
Regulations and agency procedures
Notice of Public Hearing. On January 20, the Commission published a Notice of Public Hearing in the Federal Register announcing that on Wednesday, February 14, 2023, the Commission is scheduled to hold a hybrid public hearing at 11:00 a.m. on its policies and procedures for the auditing of political committees that do not receive public funds. Anyone seeking to testify at the hearing must file written comments by Wednesday, February 8, 2023, and must include in the written comments a request to testify.
The Commission made public five closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.
COMPLAINANT: Cathy Myers
RESPONDENTS: Randy Bryce and Randy Bryce for Congress and John Tate, III, in his official capacity as Treasurer (the Committee); and Randy Bryce
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the respondents converted campaign funds to personal use when the Committee paid a personal judgment entered against Bryce and associated legal fees. Bryce was a 2018 candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee and Bryce to pay civil penalties of $4,500 and $1,500, respectively.
COMPLAINANT: Michael Stoll, Executive Director, Republican Party of Pennsylvania
RESPONDENTS: Common Defense Action Fund (f/k/a Common Defense/Beyond the Choir Action Fund) and Perry O’Brien, in his official capacity as Treasurer (Common Defense PAC); Lancaster Stands Up; and Friends of Jess King and Juzer Rangoonwala, in his official capacity as Treasurer (the King Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint and a supplemental complaint alleged that Common Defense PAC and Lancaster Stands Up failed to properly report independent expenditures supporting King and opposing her opponent, Lloyd Smucker, and that some of their public communications did not contain the required disclaimers. In addition, the supplemental complaint alleged that Common Defense PAC and Lancaster Stands Up coordinated their activities with, and thus made prohibited or excessive contributions to, the King Committee. King was a 2018 candidate for Pennsylvania ’s 11th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter. Chair Dara Lindenbaum, Vice Chairman Sean J. Cooksey, and Commissioners Allen J. Dickerson and James E. “Trey” Trainor, III issued a Statement of Reasons.
RESPONDENTS: Ethan Owens; Angela Fisher; Adam Kokesh American Referendum Project and Angela Thornton, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); Adam Kokesh; and Roger Ver
SUBJECT: In the normal course of exercising its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe the Committee failed to (1) disclose its official depository institution and timely deposit funds into the depository, (2) segregate campaign funds from personal funds, (3) keep and maintain adequate records, (4) accurately report its receipts, disbursements, and loans, and (5) properly designate a campaign depository; whether there was reason to believe the Committee and Fisher misreported the Committee’s treasurer; and whether there was reason to believe Ver made and Kokesh and the Committee knowingly accepted and failed to report prohibited foreign national contributions. Kokesh was a 2020 candidate for U.S. President.
DISPOSITION: On April 20, 2021, the Commission found reason to believe that Owens and Fisher commingled campaign funds with personal funds, that Owens failed to deposit receipts in an account at a properly designated campaign depository, that Owens failed to keep and maintain adequate records, and that Owens failed to accurately report receipts, disbursements, and loans, and the Commission authorized an investigation. On December 15, 2022, the Commission voted to take no further action in connection with the allegations concerning Owens and Fisher, and it closed the file in connection with the remaining allegations. Vice Chairman Cooksey and Commissioners Dickerson and Trainor issued a Statement of Reasons.
COMPLAINANTS: Peggy Karstens and Kimberly Schilling
RESPONDENT: WinRed and Benjamin Ottenhoff, in his official capacity as Treasurer (WinRed)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that WinRed, a political committee that operates as an online fundraising platform, charged the complainants’ mother’s credit card without approval for recurring contributions to multiple political committees in 2020 and 2021.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter.
COMPLAINANT: George Yourke
RESPONDENT: ActBlue and Erin Hill, in her official capacity as Treasurer (ActBlue)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that ActBlue, a political committee that operates as an online fundraising platform, engaged in credit card fraud when it charged the complainant for hundreds of small contributions that he did not authorize. The complaint and supplemental complaint further alleged that ActBlue charged multiple transactions as “recurring” when the complainant intended the contributions to be single transactions.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter.
Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (Case No. 22-3319) On January 13, the Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
End Citizens United PAC v. FEC (Case No. 22-5176) On January 13, Appellant End Citizens United PAC filed a Reply in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Freedman v. FEC (Case No. 22-1542) On January 17, the Commission filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Heritage Action for Am. v. FEC, et al. (Case No. 22-1422) On January 18, Plaintiff filed an Opposition to the FEC’s Second Motion to Dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings
January 24 and 26, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
January 26, 2023: The Commission voted to cancel the scheduled open meeting.
February 7, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.
February 9, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.
February 14, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to hold a hybrid public hearing on audit procedures for non-publicly funded political committees.
Upcoming educational programs
January 24, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host FECFile and reporting webinars for PACs and party committees.
January 25, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host FECFile and reporting webinars for candidate committees.
February 14-15, 2023: The Commission will host a webinar for corporations and their PACs.
February 22, 2023: The Commission is scheduled to host an FECConnect OnTopic session on Filing a Termination Report.
For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.
Upcoming reporting due dates
January 31, 2023: Year-End Reports are due. For more information, see the 2023 Semi-Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly Reporting schedules.
The Commission is accepting applications for the position of Financial Management Analyst. For more information see the job posting.
The Commission is accepting applications for the position of Records and Information Management Specialist. For more information, see the job posting.
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.
Federal Elections 2020: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is now 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 Presidential Election Campaign Fund Tax Checkoff Chart provides information on balance of the Fund, monthly deposits into the Fund reported by the Department of the Treasury, payments from the Fund as certified by the FEC, and participation rates of taxpayers as reported by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information on the Presidential Public Funding Program, see the Public Funding of Presidential Elections page.
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. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.
Go to Source