January 6, 2014

Last Week at the FEC: Conciliation and Settlement Agreements

Holland & Knight Political Law Blog
Andrew H. Emerson

Last week the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but released a Conciliation Agreement concluding MUR 6469, an enforcement action against Friends of Sharron Angle, as well as a Settlement Agreement between Liberty Unleashed, a political action committee that supported libertarian candidates in 2012, and the Commission, which was resolved through the Commission's alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program.

Friends of Sharon Angle

The Commission entered into a Conciliation Agreement with Friends of Sharron Angle and Robert Fee, in his official capacity as the committee's treasurer. his committee served as Sharron Angle's "principal campaign committee" for her 2009-2010 campaign for U.S. Senate in Nevada and was the subject of an audit by the Commission's Audit Division beginning in 2011, which resulted in an administrative fine of $25,725.00 for failing to report nearly $250,000 in late contributions and $2 million in outstanding debt. 

While the Conciliation Agreement found that the Committee had failed to disclose all its operating expenditures, debts, and obligations, which required it to file several amended reports in 2009 and 2011, it imposed a modest civil penalty of $12,834.89, noting that Committee recently paid this former administrative fine and was, for all intents and purposes, defunct.

Liberty Unleashed

The Commission resolved ADR 652 by entering a settlement agreement with the Liberty Unleashed PAC in which the Committee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,000.00 and to work with the Commission staff to terminate the Committee. The settlement Agreement found that Liberty Unleashed failed to disclose $80,054.19 in contributions in its 2012 October Quarterly report, which it subsequently amended in February 2013. 

Meeting Schedule

The Commission is not scheduled to meet again until 10:00 a.m. on January 16, 2014, agenda documents for this meetings have not yet been made public.

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