skip navigation
  • Weekly Digests

Week of December 3 – December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018

Commission meetings and hearings

Advisory opinions

Advisory Opinion Request 2018-15 (Wyden)

On December 6, the Commission held over discussion of Advisory Opinion Request 2018-15 from Sen. Ron Wyden. On December 5, Sen. Wyden granted the Commission an extension of time until December 13, 2018. Sen. Wyden asks whether Members of Congress may use campaign funds for cybersecurity-related expenses for their personal electronic devices and accounts without such payments constituting an impermissible conversion of campaign funds to personal use, under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), and Commission regulations.

Regulations

  • REG 2016-01 On December 3, the Commission published a Notification of Availability in the Federal Register requesting comment on a proposal asking whether the Commission should establish specific time periods for the submission of public comments on drafts of advisory opinions. Comments are due on the proposal by February 1, 2019.
  • REG 2018-03 On December 3, the Commission published a Notification of Availability in the Federal Register requesting comment on a proposal asking the Commission to amend a regulation that defines the term “contribution” in light of a recent court decision in CREW v. FEC. Comments are due on the proposal by February 1, 2019.

Enforcement

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

MUR 7367

  • COMPLAINANT: Heath Phillips
  • RESPONDENTS: Anthony J. Brindisi; Brindisi for Congress and Jennifer May, in her official capacity as treasurer (Federal Committee); and Friends of Anthony J. Brindisi and Lorraine McGovern, in her official capacity as treasurer (State Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Brindisi made donations from the State Committee to Democratic committees, and that the State Committee disclosed two $1,000 contributions to the Federal Committee but the Federal Committee did not report receiving them. DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in furtherance of Commission priorities. The Commission reminded the Federal Committee that the Act expressly prohibits transfers from a candidate’s nonfederal campaign committee to his or her principal or authorized federal committees.

MUR 7385

  • COMPLAINANT: Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo
  • RESPONDENTS: BucksPAC and David Feeney, in his official capacity as treasurer; Dean Malik; and Unknown Respondent
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that a number of yard signs that were critical of a Democratic candidate lacked required disclaimers indicating who had paid for them.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the matter in furtherance of Commission priorities.

MUR 7466

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • REPSONDENT: Democratic Executive Committee of Florida and Francesca Menes, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: In the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission initiated proceedings to determine whether there was reason to believe the Committee disclosed a cash-on-hand discrepancy of $155,789.90 on its 2014 February Monthly Report and additional receipts totaling $114,168.85 on its 2014 Year-End Report.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found reason to believe that the Committee failed to disclose accurately its cash-on-hand and receipts. The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $11,500.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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

ADR 852

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENT: American Principles and Eytan Laor, in his official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: During the 2015-2016 election cycle, the Committee failed to file certain reports, filed some reports late, failed to provide reporting schedules and failed to properly itemize disbursements. The Commission also noted mathematical discrepancies in reports.
  • DISPOSITION: The agreed to amend relevant 2015-2016 reports to address disclosure issues, to certify that two representatives of the Committee participated in an FEC conference, webinar, or other program developed in consultation with the FEC’s Information Division, and to pay a civil penalty of $5,000.

Audits

Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Marsha Blackburn for Congress, Inc.

On December 6, the Commission approved the Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Marsha Blackburn for Congress, Inc., covering campaign finance activity from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. The Commission approved findings pertaining to misstatement of financial activity, disclosure of occupation and name of employer, and receipt of contributions in excess of the limit. The Audit Division will prepare the Proposed Final Audit Report (PFAR) within 30 days.

Press Releases

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

  • December 13, 2018: 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 educational programs

  • On January 16 and 23, 2019, the Commission is scheduled to host reporting webinars for candidates, PACs, and party committees.

Upcoming reporting due dates

Additional research materials

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 now 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 info@fec.gov.

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

The 2018 Congressional Primary Election Dates list is available.

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 pubrec@fec.gov.

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.