Results

FEC - Federal Election Commission

05/24/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/24/2019 10:15

Week of May 20 – 24, 2019

Commission meetings and hearings

On May 23, the Commission held an open meeting.

On May 21 and 23, the Commission met in executive session.

Advisory Opinions

Opinion Issued

AO 2018-12 (Defending Digital Campaigns, Inc.) On May 21, the Commission approved by tally vote an advisory opinion in response to a request from Defending Digital Campaigns, Inc. (DDC). The Commission concluded that DDC may provide free cybersecurity to federal candidate committees and national party committees, under the unusual and exigent circumstances presented in the request and because of the demonstrated, currently enhanced threat of foreign cyberattacks against party and candidate committees.

Advisory Opinion Request Discussed

AO 2019-05 (System73) On May 23, the Commission discussed an advisory opinion request from System73 concerning its proposal to enter into 'license agreements' with political committees for the exclusive rights to livestream the committees' events. On May 22 and May 23, the Commission made public a second draft opinion and a third draft opinion.

Enforcement

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

MURs 6781/6786/6802 (National Republican Congressional Committee and Keith Davis, in his official capacity as treasurer (NRCC); Frank LoBiondo; and Frank LoBiondo for Congress and Nancy Watkins, in her official capacity as treasurer). On May 22, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen and Commissioner Caroline C. Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6928 (Rick Santorum, et al.) On May 20, Vice Chairman Petersen and Commissioner Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 6971

COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
RESPONDENTS: John Ellis 'Jeb' Bush; Jeb 2016, Inc. and William Simon, in his official capacity as treasurer (Jeb 2016); Right to Rise USA and Charles R. Spies, in his official capacity as treasurer (Right to Rise); Fred E. Cooper; Emil Henry; Trey McCarley; Kris Money; and Deborah Aleksander
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that individuals acting as agents of 2016 presidential primary candidate Jeb Bush violated provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), by soliciting non-federal funds for Right to Rise, an independent expenditure-only political committee or Super PAC supporting Bush. The complaint identified two individuals, Henry and Cooper, who contributed to both Right to Rise and to Jeb 2016 and three fundraising consultants (McCarley, Money, and Aleksander) who allegedly violated the Act by actively fundraising for Jeb 2016 while simultaneously soliciting funds for Right to Rise.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 6984

COMPLAINANT: American Democracy Legal Fund
RESPONDENTS: John Ellis 'Jeb' Bush; Jeb 2016, Inc. and William Simon, in his official capacity as treasurer (Jeb 2016); and Right to Rise USA and Charlie R. Spies, in his official capacity as treasurer (Right to Rise)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Right to Rise, an independent expenditure-only political committee or Super PAC, made prohibited in-kind contributions to Bush by coordinating two direct mailings through a common vendor. The complaint further alleged that Bush and Jeb 2016 accepted prohibited contributions.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 7183 (Thornton Law Firm LLP, f/k/a Thornton & Naumes LLP (TLF); Michael Thornton; Amy Thornton; Garrett Bradley; and David Strouss) On May 22, Vice Chairman Petersen and Commissioner Hunter issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7439

COMPLAINANT: Steven Bieda
RESPONDENTS: Philip A. Hart Democratic Club and Darlene Kaltz, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee made multiple expenditures for materials in June and July 2018 in support of a candidate for county clerk and opposing the complainant Bieda, who was a candidate in the same election, but did not disclose these disbursements on its federal campaign finance reports.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

MUR 7477

COMPLAINANT: Hamilton County Democratic Party
RESPONDENTS: Steve Chabot; Steve Chabot for Congress and James Schwartz, in his official capacity as treasurer (Chabot Committee); WinNovember Political Action Committee and Stacy Barton, in her official capacity as treasurer (WinNovember); Right Turn Design, LLC; and Kevin Bischof
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Congressman Steve Chabot, the Chabot Committee, and WinNovember, his leadership PAC, converted campaign funds to personal use by making payments above fair market value for services provided by Right Turn Design, LLC, a company owned and operated by Chabot's son-in-law Kevin Bischof.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file.

MUR 7481

COMPLAINANT: Jordan Wood
RESPONDENT: Matt Rosendale for Montana and Errol Galt, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee accepted 34 excessive contributions and improperly allocated portions of those contributions to the 2018 primary because the contributions appear to have exceeded the Committee's 2018 primary debt obligations. Matt Rosendale was a 2018 U.S. Senate candidate from Montana.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

MUR 7483

COMPLAINANT: Be That Design LLC d/b/a btd brand
RESPONDENTS: Leonard for Minnesota and John Leonard Mason, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee failed to report debts in its 2018 April and July Quarterly Reports for services provided by the complainant's company from February through April 2018
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

MUR 7487

COMPLAINANT: Craig Keith
RESPONDENT: Courtney Tritch
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the respondent made multiple contributions in 2017 and listed her employer as both 'Courtney Tritch Consulting' and as unemployed.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

MUR 7488

COMPLAINANT: Rodney J. Strange
RESPONDENTS: Tracy Mitrano for Congress and Pamela Bleiwas, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee); and Centerway Commerce Building, LLC (Centerway)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee did not report any disbursements made or any in-kind contributions received for the rental of its campaign office. The complaint contended that if the Committee did not pay rent, then it likely received either an excessive or prohibited corporate contribution from Centerway, the building's owner.
DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in consideration of Commission priorities.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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

ADR 846

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
RESPONDENTS: Rohrabacher for Congress and Jen Slater, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its normal supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether the Committee failed to report all financial activity. The Committee had amended its 2015 April Quarterly Report to disclose a cash-on-hand adjustment of $187,946.39. The Committee also disclosed unauthorized receipts and disbursements on its Amended 2015 April Quarterly and 2015 July Quarterly Reports. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was a 2016 candidate for California's 48th Congressional District.
DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to develop and certify implementation of internal control procedures and to provide confirmation that those procedures have been followed consistently one year from the effective date of the settlement agreement.

Administrative Fines

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

AF 3526

Jeff Beals for Congress and Allen Beals, in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $667.

AF 3544

Volunteers for Nehlen and Paul Nehlen in his official capacity as treasurer. The Commission made a final determination and assessed a civil penalty of $400.

Litigation

Committee to Defend the President v. FEC (Case No. 18-cv-00888) On May 23, both parties filed a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

CREW v. FEC (Case No. 17-5049) On May 23 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a Mandate.

The Legacy Foundation v. FEC (Case No. 1:19-cv-01389) On May 14, Plaintiff filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Libertarian National Committee v. FEC (Case No. 18-5227) On May 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an Opinion and Per Curiam Judgment.

Reports to Congress

On May 21, the Commission made public responses that it provided to the Committee on House Administration in response to a letter from Committee Chairperson Zoe Lofgren dated April 1, 2019.

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.

Draft Interpretive Rule on Paying for Cybersecurity Using Party Segregated Account. On May 23, the Commission discussed a draft interpretive rule proposed by Chair Ellen L. Weintraub to provide guidance on the payment by national party committees for secure information communications technology and cybersecurity products or services for national and state party committees and federal candidate committees by using funds from party segregated accounts for headquarters buildings. The Commission received two comments on the draft interpretive rule.

Press Releases

Appeals Court issues opinion in Libertarian National Committee v. FEC (Issued May 21)

FEC Names Tony Baptiste Acting Inspector General (Issued May 22)

FEC approves advisory opinion, discusses AO request and draft interpretive rule (Issued May 23)

Commissioner Statements

On May 22, Chair Weintraub testified before the Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on 'Securing U.S. Election Infrastructure and Protecting Political Discourse.'

Agency Operations

On May 22, the Commission announced that it has named Tony Baptiste as the agency's Acting Inspector General, effective May 28.

Outreach

On May 22, the Commission hosted a webinar for political party committees.

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

June 4: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

June 6: 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

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.