Thomasenia Duncan, Esq.
General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20463

Dear Ms Duncan:

This complaint asserts that Congressman Dave Reichert, his principal campaign committee, Friends of Dave Reichert (the "Reichert Campaign"), the Washington State Republican Party, and the Reichert Washington Victory Committee (collectively, the "Joint Fundraising Respondents"), have violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (the "Act"), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq., and related regulations of the Federal Election Commission ("FEC" or the "Commission"), 11 C.F.R. §§ 100.1 et seq.  Specifically, the Joint Fundraising Respondents have violated the law by failing to comply with the rules for conducting joint fundraising activities, as set forth in 11 C.F.R. § 102.17.  In addition, based on the Reichert Campaign's FEC reports, the Reichert Campaign has also violated the law by accepting excessive contributions from Lee Ann Farrell.

The violations of the Act by the Joint Fundraising Respondents arose in connection with an August 27, 2007 joint fundraising event "featuring President George W. Bush honoring Congressman Dave Reichert" (the "Bush-Reichert Event").  The solicitation for the Bush-Reichert event offered tickets to a "VIP Reception" if the donor contributed $10,000, or raised the equivalent amount from other contributors.  This VIP ticket would entitle its holder to a "photo opportunity."  For those who did not qualify for a ticket to the VIP Reception, a regular "Attendee" ticket could be purchased for $1,000.  See Exhibit A.  

Because the Bush-Reichert Event was to raise funds for both the Reichert Campaign and the Washington State Republican Party, both committees were required to raise and spend funds for the Bush-Reichert Event through a joint fundraising committee established for that purpose (the Reichert Washington Victory Committee), and to comply with the accounting and disclosure requirements set forth in 11 C.F.R. § 102.17.  As questions from bloggers and others arose about the accuracy of information released to the public about the funds raised at the Bush-Reichert Event and the propriety of the procedures followed in raising those funds, the Reichert Campaign released a statement acknowledging that some of the funds raised for the Bush-Reichert Event were handled in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 102.17(c).   See Exhibit B.  The Reichert Campaign did not, however, acknowledge at least one other apparent violation of 11 C.F.R. § 102.17(c).  The Reichert Campaign admits to raising funds at the Bush-Reichert Event of at least 25% greater than reported by the joint committee established, and required by law to receive all contributions associated with the Bush-Reichert Event - Reichert Washington Victory Committee.  Compare Exhibits C and D.

By failing to comply with the joint fundraising procedures mandated by Commission regulations, and by releasing information to the public about the Bush-Reichert Event that could not be squared with the Reichert Campaign's FEC reports and which raised significant doubts about the completeness and accuracy of disclosure by the Reichert Washington Victory Committee, the Joint Fundraising Respondents have undercut one of the main purposes of the Act: namely, to ensure that the public has accurate, timely information about the sources of funds to its elected officials and candidates.  Incumbents and party officials who hold a fundraising event that features the country's highest elected official should be no less bound by the law than those who, while considerably less seasoned, must still learn the intricacies of the Act and Commission regulations.

For these reasons, the Commission should immediately investigate the procedures that were followed in conducting the Bush-Reichert Event and ensure that the public has a clear, accurate account of the money trail, which has otherwise been obscured by violations of the Commission's joint fundraising procedures.  In the event these violations by the Joint Fundraising Respondents prove to be indicative of more systemic, widespread mismanagement of financial resources by the Reichert Campaign and the other Joint Fundraising Respondents, the Commission should seek the highest civil penalties available under the law, and take whatever other action it deems necessary or appropriate under the law.

As a final matter, the Reichert Campaign's FEC reports reveal contributions from Lee Ann Farrell that exceed the contribution limits of the Act.  See Exhibit E.  As a federal officeholder and candidate, Congressman Reichert and his campaign are prohibited from soliciting or receiving funds "in connection with an election for Federal office ... unless the funds are subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of the Act."  2 U.S.C. § 441i(e) (emphasis added).  The Commission should immediately enforce the contribution limits of the Act and require Congressman Reichert and his campaign to cease and desist from raising soft money from Ms. Farrell or other donors.

Dwight Pelz
Washington State Democratic Committee

County of ______________    )
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this ____ day of ______, 2007.
Notary Public
My Commission Expires: