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    Citizens For A Better America ® (CFABA.ORG)

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    AN OPEN REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION!

    General Counsel
    Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV)
    999 E Street, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20463

    800/424-9530
    202/694-1100 (local)
    202/219-3336 (for the hearing impaired)
    info@fec.gov

    Sent via email to all email addresses found on FEC.GOV and by regular postal mail.

    Current Commissioners of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC.GOV):

    Commissioner Michael E. Toner, Chairman
    Commissioner Robert D. Lenhard *
    Commissioner David M. Mason
    Commissioner Hans A. von Spakovsky *
    Commissioner Steven T. Walther *
    Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub
    * See January 9, 2006, press release New FEC Commissioners Take Office.

    Dear Current Commissioners of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC.GOV) and General Counsel:

    AN OPEN REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION!

    INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND:

    I would like to say for the record that ever since founding Citizens For A Better America (R) (CFABA.ORG) on October 15, 1992 I have really attempted to comply with all laws, regulations of the Federal Elections Commission. In fact that desire and goal was something that I was committed to when I began campaigning for Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1988. In fact I read from start to finish the book that FEC.GOV provided, all about four hundred pages (400) of it.

    Being born in Baghdad, Iraq and having legally immigrated to the USA in 1969 as a twelve year old boy and becoming a U.S. Citizen on the 200th birthday of the Declaration of Independence in 1976, I have profound respect for the United states of America, what it stands for by the very documents that brought about this great country like the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. I have a great respect for the law. The letter of the law and the principals that they are based on.

    I would like to start this Open Letter / OPEN REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION by saying that I am extremely disappointed that I am having to take the steps of having to take the time, effort and energy to have to do this.

    I am also very much offended that your actions over the past several years have brought about a great deal of frustration and a sense that you did not care about the very community (non-connected committees like us) you are charged with serving and bringing compliance to.

    One of the most repulsive parts of having to take my time, a volunteer to have to write this document is that your actions have put us in a place to either write this document or to be in non compliance of the Federal Election Act as you, the FEC.GOV see it. For the record any use of FEC.GOV is indicated to be the shortened version of the Federal Elections Commission. Since FEC.GOV also represents your website I believe that I will indicate when I am speaking specifically about the website.

    It is my policy when having to write a document to deal with and to attempt to bring about a resolution to a situation that I make those documents public. Basically, because the FEC.GOV is forcing me / us to have to comply or face what I have said are more unrestricted and out of control powers than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.GOV) I am making this public and will post to our website(s) at our convenience. As a result of these things I am partially writing this letter so that it can be understood by those that are not the FEC.GOV or the "regulated community." As such I am having to bring the general public, media organizations, Members of Congress to understand with me to a small extent why what you are currently doing and not doing are so destructive to our Constitutional Republic and our system of elected government.

    Various pages of your website [http://www.fec.gov] indicate, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC.GOV) was brought into existence because of legislation going back to the early and mid 1970's through acts of Congress.

    On your webpage entitled "The FEC and the Federal Campaign Finance Law Brochure," you state the following:

    =====

    Historical Background

    As early as 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the need for campaign finance reform and called for legislation to ban corporate contributions for political purposes. In response, Congress enacted several statutes between 1907 and 1966 which, taken together, sought to:

    * Limit the disproportionate influence of wealthy individuals and special interest groups on the outcome of federal elections;
    * Regulate spending in campaigns for federal office; and
    * Deter abuses by mandating public disclosure of campaign finances.

    In 1971, Congress consolidated its earlier reform efforts in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), instituting more stringent disclosure requirements for federal candidates, political parties and political action committees (PACs). Still, without a central administrative authority, the campaign finance laws were difficult to enforce.

    Following reports of serious financial abuses in the 1972 Presidential campaign, Congress amended the FECA in 1974 to set limits on contributions by individuals, political parties and PACs. The 1974 amendments also established an independent agency, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to enforce the law, facilitate disclosure and administer the public funding program. Congress made further amendments to the FECA in 1976 following a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo; major amendments were also made in 1979 to streamline the disclosure process and expand the role of political parties.

    The next set of major amendments came in the form of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). Among other things, the BCRA banned national parties from raising or spending nonfederal funds (often called "soft money"), restricted so-called issue ads, increased the contribution limits and indexed certain limits for inflation.

    Public funding of federal elections originally proposed by President Roosevelt in 1907 began to take shape in 1971 when Congress set up the income tax checkoff to provide for the financing of Presidential general election campaigns and national party conventions. Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code in 1974 established the matching fund program for Presidential primary campaigns.

    The FEC opened its doors in 1975 and administered the first publicly funded Presidential election in 1976.

    =====

    I believe that you have done fairly well with:

    * Regulate spending in campaigns for federal office; and
    * Deter abuses by mandating public disclosure of campaign finances.

    However, with all due respect to your statement: "Limit the disproportionate influence of wealthy individuals and special interest groups on the outcome of federal elections;" I completely and wholeheartedly disagree with this statement.

    You send out on a monthly basis, your publication entitled "The Record." That publication is filled with article after article about what the FEC.GOV has done in relationship to it's various and ongoing lawsuits brought by the FEC.GOV and certainly those brought by candidates for federal office or some part of your regulated community, such as non-connected committees like us, CFABA.ORG, Party Committees, Separate Segregated Funds, Connected Committees like those that are part of Corporations.

    It is totally disturbing to me to read over and over again as I have done of the articles in "The Record," about how the FEC.GOV has given out fines of even ten of thousands of dollars, brought lawsuits against those it regulates and yet FEC.GOV has done nothing to inform and educate your regulated community about how to use the FECFILE software and it's various updates for that same regulated community to comply with the filing of disclosure reports.

    In December 2005 we received a letter from Jennifer Jaketic, FEC.GOV, Campaign Analysis Report Division.

    On 01/05/2006 I was able to speak with Jennifer Jaketic from 07:32:53 to 08:11:10! She informed me that we filed our reports incorrectly. After some discussion about the specifics of how we had filed the reports incorrectly we discovered that when I was entering a transaction into FECFILE under the "Select the type of new Disbursement" of the twelve (12) options for the next step, I believed I needed to pick one of the two first one which were: "Allocable expenditure [21(a)]" or "Federal Operating Expenditure (other) [21(b)]."

    FECFILE software does not allow for a quick modification of each and every one of the disbursements that we entered. What Jennifer Jaketic and I discussed during our phone call was that we had to delete each and every one of the disbursements individually and then enter each and every disbursement ndividually. Since we enter each and every each, cash expense no matter how small the dollar amount is it is a great and enormous hardship. Especially since it is my contention that it is the fault of the FEC.GOV that I did not know to pick [21(b)] rather than [21(a)]. To the best of my knowledge the FEC.GOV has never used "The Record" to explain that [21(a)] is for committees that have to file what Jennifer Jaketic told me were "H" reports for a percentage of expenses between our federal account and our state account.

    For the record, and so that there are no misunderstandings I believe Jennifer Jaketic handled herself with great professionalism. She was kind and not rude. She appeared to be following the procedure established by FEC.GOV!

    Again, with all due respect the term "Federal Operating Expenditure (other) [21(b)]," to me would not have been one that I would have used, especially "(other)" would not be something that I would have thought that we needed to use. This in light of the fact that your FECFILE software does not have what almost every other software has of describing or defining what certain terms mean.

    Again with respect your mission statement to "Limit the disproportionate influence of wealthy individuals and special interest groups on the outcome of federal elections;" you ARE NOT accomplishing that objective and goal.

    The FEC.GOV has consistently treated CFABA.ORG as a non-connected committee as it appears that it has done to all other committees like us without the concern that we do not have the same resources of the regulated community that receives millions and millions of dollars or for that matter the tens of thousands of dollars. In fact the FEC.GOV does not mandate the use of FECFILE software until any political committee has donations over fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per year, a policy I agree with.

    In light of the specific aspects of the December 2005 request and demand letter from Jennifer Jaketic, FEC.GOV, Campaign Analysis Report Division does the FEC.GOV expect for committees like us, CFABA.ORG have to do what Jennifer Jaketic said that we must do, which was to delete each and every one of the disbursements individually and then re-input each and every one of the disbursements individually?

    I am formally requesting An Advisory Opinion on this and if a formal request is not sufficient, then please consider this a demand for that Advisory Opinion.

    I have read as completely as I can the procedures for requesting an Advisory Opinion. Since the FEC.GOV refused to give me an Advisory Opinion when I requested on back in 1996, I have gone through the efforts of finding out what I needed to do to get the FEC.GOV to actually provide me the Advisory Opinion I have requested. I believe I have complied with those procedures.

    For the record, the mail sent to our mailing address of PO Box 7647, Van Nuys, California 91409-7647 is picked up about every four weeks. I would appreciate it if when responding to this letter or any subsequent communication would also be emailed or faxed as well so that I can respond in a more timely manner than four to six (4-6) weeks. Our email address is [hq@cfaba.org] or you can click on the following link [hq@cfaba.org]. You can also fax documents to 1-425-799-9605 or 1-425-696-1507! I recognize that you are not bound or have a procedure for emailing or faxing documents but it would make for a faster turn around on our part and I would like you to understand that if we do not respond within whatever time limits that you have set because we have not received your documents sent via regular postal mail, we will certainly respond as quickly as we receive those documents.

    Another issue that I am seeking an Advisory Opinion on is what is the procedure for actually filing complaints against the Federal Elections Commission (FEC.GOV) itself. What is the procedure for filing complaints without having to bring a lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission (FEC.GOV) on matters of principal, policy, procedure, miscommunication, deception communicated on your website, FEC.GOV about our organization?

    Specifically, some of the issues are that FEC.GOV does not seem to have the protections in place for negative information posted on your website that is incorrect or inaccurate and for a procedure for removing such incorrect or inaccurate information. I have spoken to various officials of FEC.GOV to confront about these various issues and we have not been informed about any procedure whatsoever about filing complaint(s) about the FEC.GOV as a governmental body.

    Again, I am formally requesting An Advisory Opinion on this and if a formal request is not sufficient, then please consider this a demand for that Advisory Opinion. What is the official policy of FEC.GOV about how a political committee like us, CFABA.ORG can file a complaint without having to file a lawsuit against FEC.GOV?

    I look forward to your Advisory Opinions.

    If you have any questions about what I have written please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    _____________(signed)________________________________
    Robert Colaco
    Senior Treasurer
    Volunteer National Chairman, Founder
    Citizens For A Better America ® (CFABA.ORG)

    Carbon Copy Sent to: Jennifer Jaketic, FEC.GOV, Campaign Analysis Report Division, follow-up to conversation on 01/05/2006 from 07:32:53 to 08:11:10!



    This was sent to you by:
    Citizens For A Better America ® (CFABA.ORG)
    Federal, F.E.C. ID #: C00278333
    California, F.P.P.C. ID #: 1265022
    National Headquarters:
    PO Box 7647,
    Van Nuys, California 91409-7647
    Voice: (818)757-1776

    © Copyright, 1992-2006. All Rights Reserved. Citizens For A Better America ®. This has been authorized, paid for and published by Citizens For A Better America ®. This is not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

    ® = Federally Registered Trademark filed with the US Patents & Trademarks Office. "Citizens For A Better America ®" is a registered trademark with the United States Patents and Trademarks office, Registration Number: 2500525.

    ™ = Trademark. [Document Name: OL_20060117_FEC_GOV.TXT]. All Registered Trademarks and Trademarks are the property of Citizens For A Better America ® or Robert Colaco and may not be used without written permission.

    THIS IS THE END OF THE E-MAIL FROM:
    CITIZENS FOR A BETTER AMERICA ®


    | Copyright 1992-2010 Citizens For A Better America ® (CFABA.ORG) |
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    Last Update: 04/08/2010