Complaint with FEC against Mattie Fein for Congress Committee

Below follows the text of a complaint letter I sent to the Federal Election Commission regarding the campaign committee for Republican candidate, Mattie Fein, who is running for Congress in the 36th Congressional District of California:

September 29, 2010

Christopher Hughey, Esq.

Acting General Counsel

Federal Election Commission

999 E Street, N. W.

Washington, D. C. 20463

Re:  Complaint against Mattie Fein and Mattie Fein for Congress Committee

Dear Mr. Hughey,

I write this letter to file a complaint against Mattie Fein, a candidate for the 36th Congressional District in the state of California, and her principal campaign committee, Mattie Fein for Congress. Although reports filed with the Commission indicate substantial loans and contributions made by Ms. Fein to the Committee between December 2009 and March 2010, the candidate’s financial disclosure statement does not reflect the assets or income necessary to support that level of investment. If Ms. Fein has used resources other than her own personal funds to make contributions or loans to the campaign, then she and the committee have acted in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.


The record demonstrates that Mattie Fein loaned her campaign committee $50,000 in personal funds and contributed an additional $58, 221.48 to the Committee. Two loans totaling $50,000 were made to the Committee on March 31, 2010, and reported from the candidate on line 13a of the Committee’s April Quarterly report. The loans were also reported on Schedule C, where the source of the loan is identified as the candidate’s “personal funds.” Between December 31, 2009 and March 1, 2010, Ms. Fein made a series of contributions to the Committee totaling an additional $58,222. The first of these contributions was reported on the Committee’s 2009 year-end report: three additional contribution s were reported on the 2010 April Quarterly report.

Pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act, Ms. Fein filed a financial disclosure statement with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives on August 9, 2010. The statute requires that the filer disclose the source, type and amount of earned and unearned income received during the year of filing preceding calendar year as well as the “identity and category of value of any interest in property held…in a trade or business, or for investment or the production of income.” Interest-bearing checking or savings accounts held by the filer must be disclosed if the total value exceeds $5,000 as of the end of the reporting period.

The only 2009 or 2010 income disclosed on Ms. Fein’s statement is a $3,000 honorarium from the Litchfield Group, Inc. in 2009 and income in the amount of $15,001-$50,000 in both 2009 and 2010 from a separation agreement with her former husband, Bruce Fein. No other assets or sources of income are listed on the report. The financial disclosure statement filed by Ms. Fein simply does not reflect the income or assets that would have permitted her make such a significant investment of personal funds to her campaign.


The F.E.C. Act and Commission regulations permit federal candidates to make “unlimited expenditures” from personal funds. The “personal funds of a candidate are defined to include amounts derived from any asset that the candidate had “legal right of access to or control over” and with respect to which the candidate had “legal and right-full title” or an “equitable interest.” Personal funds also include any income received by candidate during the election cycle, including income from a salary and other earned income, income from the candidate’s stocks or investments, bequests to the candidate, income from trusts, and gifts of a personal nature that had been customarily

received by the candidate prior to candidacy.

Here, the Committee’s reports indicate that Ms. Fein loaned and contributed to her campaign an aggregate amount of   $108,222 in the three-month period between December 31, 2009 and March 31, 2019. Yet, according to her financial disclosure statement, the total income that Ms. Fein received between January 1, 2009 and August 9, 2010

was between $33,000 and $103,000.  Even if she received the maximum amount, it is still less than the total amount she contributed and loaned to her campaign in a three-month period. And her financial disclosure statement indicates

no additional assets or savings.

If Ms. Fein did not have the personal funds necessary to contribute or loan the Committee over $100,000 to her campaign, then she and the Committee have acted in violation in the Act.