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  • Weekly Digests

Week of October 1 – October 5, 2018

October 5, 2018

Commission meetings and hearings

No executive sessions or open meetings were scheduled this week.

Advisory opinion requests

Advisory Opinion Request 2018-15 (Wyden)

On October 5, 2018, the Commission made public Advisory Opinion Request 2018-15 from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who asks whether Members of Congress may use excess campaign funds for cybersecurity-related expenses for their personal devices and accounts. The Commission will accept written comments on the request during the 10-day period following publication of the request (no later than October 15) and must issue a response no later than 60 days after the receipt of the complete request, that is, by December 3, 2018.

Enforcement

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

MUR 7213

  • COMPLAINANTS: Connecticut Republican Party and J.R. Romano, Jr.
  • RESPONDENTS: Labor United for Connecticut and Paul Filson, in his official capacity as treasurer (Labor United)
  • SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that Labor United, a Section 527 organization that was registered with the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission, failed to register and report with the Commission as a political committee and used nonfederal funds to influence federal elections in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act). The complaint further alleged that in October 2016, Labor United paid for digital advertising attacking Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, which triggered federal political committee status and as a result, Labor United was restricted to spending only federal funds.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found no reason to believe Labor United violated the Act by accepting or spending nonfederal funds because there was no indication that it ever coordinated its activities with any federal candidate or political party committee. In consideration of its priorities, the Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegations that Labor United failed to register and report as a political committee and that it failed to report independent expenditures it made in a timely manner. The Commission observed that Labor United was active for just over one month and the bulk of its contributions received were later refunded.

MUR 7410

  • COMPLAINANT: Self-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. (WSWA); and Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. Political Action Committee and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: WSWA and the Committee, its separate segregated fund, disclosed that WSWA impermissibly solicited certain unionized individuals outside of its restricted class for contributions to the Committee.
  • DISPOSITION: The Commission found reason to believe that WSWA and the Committee impermissibly solicited 473 unionized employees, who contributed a total of $246,142.69 to the Committee. The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for WSWA and the Committee to pay a civil penalty of $7,000.

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 868

  • COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated
  • RESPONDENTS: National Nurses United for Patient Protection and Martha Kuhl, in her official capacity as treasurer (the Committee)
  • SUBJECT: The Committee failed to file 24- and 48-hour reports supporting independent expenditures that were disclosed on its 2016 July Quarterly Report.
  • DISPOSITION: The Committee agreed to participate in a one-on-one training on independent expenditure reporting requirements and procedures with the Information Division, and to pay a civil penalty of $3,500.

Public Disclosure

On October 1, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) made public the Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan.

Outreach

  • On September 29, Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub spoke on campaign finance issues at the American Constitution Society (ACS) Regional Convening in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The program was presented by the ACS Student Chapter at Michigan Law.
  • On October 4-5, Vice Chair Weintraub and Assistant Staff Director, Reports Analysis Division, Debbie Chacona participated in panel discussions on "Corporate Political Activities 2018: Complying with Campaign Finance, Lobbying and Ethics Laws,” for the Practising Law Institute in San Francisco, CA.

Trainings

For more information, see the Commission’s Trainings page.

Press releases

FEC provides guidance following U.S. District Court decision in CREW v. FEC, 316 F. Supp. 3d 349 (D.D.C. 2018) (Issued October 4)

Upcoming Commission meetings and hearings

Meeting dates are subject to change. Please contact the Press Office the week of the scheduled meeting for confirmation.

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 2017 edition of 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.