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      January 16, 2007 Open Letter to Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV)


      Sent via USPS regular mail.

      An Open Letter To:
      Corbin T. Jones
      Campaign Finance Analyst
      Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV)
      999 E Street, N.W.
      Washington, DC 20463

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

      Tuesday, January 16, 2007

      Dear Corbin T. Jones:

      I am responding to your December 13, 2006 letter.

      I am responding to your December 13, 2006 letter, but first I must share about my ongoing frustations and difficulties that I have and continue to have with the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV).  It is not my intent to be rude or unkind in my remarks. 

      It is however my intent to once again bring to the attention of the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV), not just one employee but the entire governmental body, frustrations that I have in the hopes that those frustrations will be eased because of steps taken by FEC.GOV to become the govenmental body that it claims that it is through documents and statements on their website.

      I founded Citizens For A Better America (R) (CFABA.ORG) on October 15, 1992.  I have been the assistant treasurer since founding the organization.  Because of problems with the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV), I decided to become the Senior Treasurer when our last senior treasurer resigned.

      I am well aware of our dealings with FEC.GOV since founding the organization in 1992.

      Since 1992 I have been frustrated with FEC.GOV again and again and again.  I have attempted all the ways that I know how to resolve these frustations with FEC.GOV

      During those 14 plus years, there has been a short period of time when those frustrations were getting resolved.  That was when I was dealing with Mr. Brad Litchfield, the Associate General Counsel.  I have been informed by FEC.GOV that he is no longer with FEC.GOV.  I am truly disappointed that he is no longer with FEC.GOV.

      It appeared that he was the only one that seemed to care about resolving frustrations of people like myself.  It also appeared that he was the only employee that I had dealt with since October 15, 1992 that cared about the image, integrity and reputation of FEC.GOV.  It is with great saddness that I make the statement "It also appeared that he was the only employee that I had dealt with since October 15, 1992 that cared about the image, integrity and reputation of FEC.GOV."

      I have expressed those frustrations on numerous occassions with various staff members and high ranking officials of FEC.GOV through phone calls and written communication. 

      To list all of frustrations would be very lengthy and it would appear of no value to FEC.GOV because FEC.GOV does not respond to those frustrations and does not even have the appearance of caring as demonstrated on numerous occassions including but not limited to my last letter on January 17, 2006 to FEC.GOV and the response that was returned back to me. 

      Among some of the most frustrating issues are:

      01.  You stated in your December 13, 2006 letter:

      "Any response submitted by your committee will be placed on the public record and will be considered by the Commission prior to taking enforcement action."

      What is the definition of "will be placed on the public record?" 

      Even though I made my response letter, AN OPEN REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION!, FEC.GOV did not post it to the page on the internet that has FEC.GOV letters, reports and amendments that we have filed.  That page can be viewed by clicking on the following link: [http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00278333]

      It does not however contain our responses to letters like your December 13, 2006.

      02.  You demand with the threats of the severists financial penalties that if a committee like ours does not respond and does not respond adequately, those kinds of penalties can be imposed on it.  However, FEC.GOV does not even have the common courtesy to respond to questions asked in an Open Letter from a committee like ours.  Again, I am referring to my last letter dated January 17, 2006.

      Since the response that I received to my January 17, 2006 letter was completely inadequate as far as FEC.GOV answering questions maybe there is no obligation on the part of FEC.GOV that it answer questions when requested or demanded to do so, unless it is through a lawsuit.  So, if a request is not sufficient for FEC.GOV, then please consider it a DEMAND. If a demand is not sufficient for FEC.GOV, then please consider it a FORMAL DEMAND. 

      It does appear that FEC.GOV does respond to lawsuits filed against it by committees such as ours.  However, it is extremely costly for committees to bring lawsuits against FEC.GOV.  Is it the intent for FEC.GOV to have every problem be resolved through lawsuits filed against FEC.GOV?  It does appear that it is the intent of FEC.GOV to only respond to lawsuits filed against.  It greatly disappoints me to believe that and to say it to FEC.GOV.

      As I stated in my Tuesday, January 17, 2006 entitled: AN OPEN REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION!:

      Again with respect, your mission statement that says 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. 

      It is completely unfair for FEC.GOV to treat committees like our that receive less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per year the same as it treats committees that receive millions and hundreds of millions of dollars.  What I mean by "unfair" is that it appears that the FEC.GOV expects all committees no matter how much money they receive to bring a lawsuit against FEC.GOV rather than being a good governmental body rather than being a thug that by all its actions it has become.

      I just do not understand how FEC.GOV can have a mission statement to "Limit the disproportionate influence of wealthy individuals and special interest groups on the outcome of federal elections;"?  Again, FEC.GOV is NOT accomplishing that objective and goal.

      There needs to be a balance between the current behavior of FEC.GOV with excessive intimidation, thug, and bully like tactics.  The apparent FEC.GOV tactics that each and every poltical committee is trying to break the law and is trying to get away with is unfair.  This was and perhaps to a lesser extent was the tactics used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.GOV) until Congress acted to put a stop to it. 

      There needs to be some thinking and tactics by FEC.GOV that there are political committees that do want to be within the law, do want to follow the law and do want to be honorable in their dealing with FEC.GOV.

      As we have stated in our Belief and Mission Statement:

      America is dying from the inside out as functional values like honor, truthfulness, integrity, respect and responsibility for action and family are cast aside, for a valueless society.

      We believe that there is a place for Morality and Values in America.

      Our entire Belief and Mission Statement can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
      [http://www.cfaba.org/cf01001.htm].

      I can not speak for all political committees, I can speak for CFABA.ORG.  We are attempting to do all that we can to cooperate with FEC.GOV and to completely be within the law, not just the letter but also the spirit of the law.  Frankly, you are not helping.  It is time for you to either get serious about helping us or just change your Belief and Mission Statement and I offer my services to write you one.  I would venture to say that I do not think you will like it.

      As a side note 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.

      QUESTIONS I AM REQUESTING AN ANSWER TO:

      01.  Why is it that I get a letter in December of even numbered years from a different "Campaign Finance Analyst," is it the policy of FEC.GOV to change analysts for committees every 1-2 years?

      02.  What do I have to do for FEC.GOV to post my responses to FEC.GOV "requests for additional information," on the same webpage that has all other FEC.GOV letters and our reports?

      03.  Do the FEC.GOV Commissioners ever see any of these letters.  How do I bring these issues to their attention?

      04.  Again, as I have asked this question before, what is the procedure that we as a committee need to take to file a complaint(s) against FEC.GOV?

      05.  Which committee in Congress has oversight over FEC.GOV?

      06.  In December 2006 with the sending of packets for the January 31, 2007 filing they told us as well as all other committees that FEC.GOV has made communication with committees like ours must be done only through email.  Can I request / demand that you send me letters like your December 13, 2006 letter through email?

      07.  You stated in your December 13, 2006 letter: "Failure to provide an adequate response by this date may result in an audit of the committee."  What are the procedures that FEC.GOV uses to conduct an audit?

      You stated in your December 13, 2006 letter: "An itemization of the information needed follows:

      -Your report discloses a payment(s) on Schedule(s) C and D to David Shemanski, Robert Colaco, Providian Bank Visa CC 2040, Gail colaco and First Bankcard Visa CC 2030, which has not been recorded on a disbursement schedule.  Loan payments must be reflected on a Schedule B or E as well as on Schedule C, and debt payments must be reflected on a Schedule B, E, H4 or H6 as well as on Schedule D.  Please amend your reports to clarify this discrepancy.  2 U.S.C. 434(B)(5)(D)

      08.  Where do you see a payment to David Shemanski?

      09.  Are you referring to a payment to Robert Colaco on page 9 of 29?  If so, I stated in "Purpose of Disbursement" 20060616 LOAN REPAY.

      10.  Where do you see a payment to Gail Colaco?

      As far as a payment to First Bankcard Visa CC 2030 has been recorded on Page 27 of 29.  In the "Payment This Period" is 75.00!  If you are asking why are the payments not listed in Schedule B, I do not know the answer to that question since I used the latest version of FECFILE Software provided by FEC.GOV

      The method that I used to handle the transactions is as follows:

      01.  I went into the Icon entitled: Loans, Debts & Others.

      02.  It brought up all the loans and debts that CFABA.ORG has.

      03.  I highlighted First Bankcard Visa CC 2030 with the individual date of the loan.

      04.  I then right clicked and then clicked on the Loan/Debt payments.

      05.  I then clicked on the Add New.

      06.  I then clicked on the Federal Operating Expenditure (other) [21(b)].

      07.  I then clicked ok and entered the transaction with the name: First Bankcard Visa CC 2030. 

      08.  I then filled in the date, amount and description boxes. 

      09.  I then went down to the Category Code and used one of the pull down option that FEFFILE has given me which I normally use: "Administrative/Salary/Overhead Expenses."

      QUESTION:  What specifically did I do wrong?

      Now, I have to say that this is another one of my severe frustrations with FECFILE and FEC.GOV.  They do not take responsibility for their actions.  Their actions, meaning that their software does or does not do certain things and they, FEC.GOV takes out their frustrations on committtees like ours because there are defects in FECFILE.

      I believe I have answered all the questions posed in your December 13, 2006 letter in an excellent fashion.  I expect nothing less from you.

      Unless you can tell me specifically what I did wrong, it would appear that FECFILE has yet another problem within.

      When I wrote my January 17, 2006 letter which can be read by clicking on the following link: [http://www.cfaba.org/cf06074.htm] it was my hope that I would not have to use stronger, more forceful language as far as my frustrations with FEC.GOV!  Sadly, I was extremely disappointed that was has not been the case.  It is also disgusting to me to have to use what some would believe to be not foul but certainly caustic language with FEC.GOV.

      In fact, I used to think that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.GOV) was the worst bully among governmental organizations.  Thankfully, the Congress of the United States of America stepped in and implemented such reforms as an Ombudsman program, The Taxpayers Bill of Rights and other measures to change the Internal Revenue Service, IRS (IRS.GOV) from the completely lawless organization that it was. 

      Just in case you are wondering, I believe that the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV) is the proud owner of the worst bully among governmental organizations.

      So far, it would appear to me that the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV) needs some of the same reforms.  I believe the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV) needs is the same kinds of reforms like a Political Committee Bill of Rights.  It also needs Political Committee Representatives.  Representatives from Political Committees that can speak for committees like ours.  I am speaking of something that exists in Private Enterprise and in some Corporations in America that have dealer's associations or representative's associations.

      I am totally saddened that I believe and see that the Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV) has become a governmental body that has been given a great deal of power to levy fines on political organizations like ours. 

      It has however not used that power to make the job of political committees like ours to cooperate with Federal Election Commission (FEC.GOV) to file reports and submit answers to questions with the least amount of inconvenience to political committees like ours. 

      I say that because I would venture to say that the overwhelming majority of political committees like ours are run by volunteers and do not get paid to take the about five (5) hours that it has taken me to write this letter. 

      After taking that kind of time it is truly disgusting for the FEC.GOV to potentially ignore this letter as they did ignoring my January 17, 2006 letter that took even more time than this since I did an enormous amount of research to attempt to find out the structure of FEC.GOV, who in Congress regulates it and so on.  Basically the questions that I asked in this letter since I was unable to find answers on FEC.GOV website and questions that were not answered by my January 17, 2006.

      Again, it is my hope that FEC.GOV answers my questions this time.  Or, tells me what I have to do to get my questions answered. 

      As a legal immigrant to the USA, and as a Naturalized United States Citizen I know all too well the danger signs demonstrated by governmental bodies that appear to not care, appear to be unaffected or appear to do whatever they want without any concern for the constituency they are to serve.  Yes, FEC.GOV is such a governmental body.  I do not know what it was like before I became a candidate for Congress in November 1988 as a governmental body.  I do however know through my own experience what FEC.GOV has been to deal with since November 1988 and more so since founding CFABA.ORG on October 15, 1992.

      From all that I know, political committees like ours are part of the constituency that you are to serve. 

      Having been born in Baghdad, Iraq, when a United States governmental body does the things that a dictator like Saddam Hussein did, I am truly repulsed and disgusted.  I am both disappointed and greatly saddened that FEC.GOV by its actions are doing the same kinds of things done by the government of Saddam Hussein.

      Again, I am asking FEC.GOV to stop your bad behavior and start a good behavior of caring about this part of your constituency, political committees.

      Sincerely,
      Robert Colaco
      Senior Treasurer, Volunteer National Chairman, Founder
      Citizens For A Better America (R) (CFABA.ORG)


      Carbon Copy Sent By USPS TO All Commissioner on 01/16/2007 those on the following webpage: [http://www.fec.gov/members/members.shtml]:

      01.  FEC Commissioner Robert D. Lenhard, Chairman

      02.  FEC Commissioner David M. Mason, Vice Chairman

      03.  FEC Commissioner Hans A. von Spakovsky     

      04.  FEC Commissioner Michael E. Toner

      05.  FEC Commissioner Steve T. Walther 

      06.  FEC Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub

      A Carbon Copy is also being sent to Amy Kort Requesting and Demanding that this letter be published in its entirety and without editing in The FEC Record.

      This was sent to you by:
      Citizens For A Better America (R) (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
      E-mail: hq@cfaba.org
      [http://cfaba.org]

      (c) Copyright, 1992-2007.  All Rights Reserved.  Citizens For A Better America (R).  This has been authorized, paid for and published by Citizens For A Better America (R) (CFABA.ORG).  This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

      (R) = Federally Registered Trademark filed with the US Patents & Trademarks Office. 

      Citizens For A Better America (R) (CFABA.ORG) is a registered trademark with the United States Patents and Trademarks office, Registration Number: 2500525.  (TM) = Trademark. 

      [Document Name:  20070116_OPEN_LETTER_TO_FEC_GOV.TXT].  All Registered Trademarks and Trademarks are the property of Citizens For A Better America (R) or Robert Colaco and may not be used without written permission.

      THIS IS THE END OF LETTER FROM:  CITIZENS FOR A BETTER AMERICA (R) (CFABA.ORG).

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