Last Week At The FEC: Agreement On Dormant Funds But Confrontation Over Enforcement

Andrew H. Emerson is an Associate in our Washington, D.C. office.

Last week the Federal Election Commission held an executive session on April 1 and an open meeting on April 3. It adopted a revised Advisory Opinion regarding the use of dormant funds by the Solano County Democratic Central Committee, delayed its consideration of Make Your Law PAC's request regarding bitcoins, and released AOR 2014-03, in which Lindsey for Congress, Inc. request clarification regarding the use of campaign funds to pay for public communications in support of both a federal candidate and state candidates.

Further the Commission announced that it was considering the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel and Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub issued a Statement voicing concern regarding the Court's decision, but lauding the Court's focus on transparency. The Commission also released a new contribution limits chart indicating that aggregate limits will no longer be enforced. This blog discussed the Court's decision early last week.

The Commission also made public ten (10) closed enforcement cases, only one of which resulted in prosecution of a respondent.

Bank Records Enough to Satisfy Best Effort Requirement for Dormant Funds

The Commission issued an Advisory Opinion finding that the Solano County Democratic Central may use funds remaining in a bank account associated with a former committee of the County Democratic Party that was closed administratively by the Commission in 2005.

As this blog discussed in late February, the Commission's initial draft would have found that the Solano County Democratic Central Committee could not use the funds because it could not prove that the funds complied with the source prohibition and contribution limits imposed by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). However, following the receipt of additional information regarding the source of contributions to the dormant account held by the Committee, a 5-1 majority of the Commission adopted a contrary opinion allowing for transfer of the funds to the Committee's current federal account.

Although Commissioner Ellen Weintraub expressed concern that the Committee's records were insufficient, and indicated that the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT