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Judicial Watch • FEC Complaint Non-Citizen Policy Advisor at DNC

FEC Complaint Non-Citizen Policy Advisor at DNC

FEC Complaint Non-Citizen Policy Advisor at DNC

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Date Created:August 28, 2015

Date Uploaded to the Library:August 28, 2015

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August 25, 2015
Office General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 Street,
Washington, D.C. 20463
Non-Citizen Policy Advisor Democratic National Committee
Dear Sir Madam:
Judicial Watch non-profit educational foundation dedicated combating government
corruption. part its educational mission, Judicial Watch regularly obtains and analyzes
information maintained the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other agencies the
federal government and disseminates its findings the public through various educational and
outreach programs, including Judicial Watch website and monthly newsletter. When alerted
major news sources that public officials their campaigns have acted negligently
fraudulently, investigates. And when the public records maintained such agencies appear
have been compromised refers that information the appropriate governing agency for further
investigation, remediation, and when applicable prosecution.
Judicial Watch relies the accuracy public records the fulfillment its
educational mission. fundamental Judicial Watch mission obtain, analyze, and
disseminate public records hold government agencies, elected officials, and their staff
accountable the rule law; thereby, preserving the public trust government.
Judicial Watch brings your attention the Democratic National Committee decision
hire foreign national help craft the party message Hispanics, women, and children. This
act against Federal statute interpreted FEC regulations. The DNC has actively and
willingly promoted its act lawlessness. Therefore, request that the FEC investigate this act.
Factual Summary
Cindy Nava accepted fellowship with the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
June 2015. She Mexican national. Although Ms. Nava self-professed dreamer,
June 2015, her application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals not been approved. For
all intents and purposes, Ms. Nava continues remain within the United States without lawful
status presence.
The details her fellowship are unknown. The Washington Post reported that Nava
working for the Democratic National Committee helping the party organize ahead
presidential election that President Obama predicted would feature immigration major
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
issue. The Spanish language newspaper, Nuevo Herald, provided additional information,
[E]s integrante del Comit Nacional Dem crata, donde colabora con las pol ticas para ayudar
las mujeres, los venes los hispanos. The Democratic National Committee proudly
announced her employment social media.3
The DNC offers women the Mame Reiley Fellowship. This fellowship provides
hardworking, passionate future women leaders with the opportunity gain invaluable, hands-on
experience Democratic politics. These fellows have the chance work substantively the
DNC all aspects women outreach from finance political communications and
beyond. While possible that Cindy Nava participating different fellowship, this
the only fellowship listed the DNC website. While other fellowships are affiliated with the
DNC, none found were open for the term Cindy Nava engaged in.6
The Democratic National Committee knowingly hired Foreign National assist,
directly indirectly, setting the Committee Public Policy Agenda for its
Candidates, the National Committee, and its Associated Organizations.
The Code Federal Regulations provides that: foreign national shall not direct, dictate, control, directly indirectly
participate the decision-making process any person, such political
committee with regard such persons Federal non-Federal electionrelated activities, such decisions concerning the making contributions,
donations, expenditures, disbursements connection with elections for any
Federal, State, local office decisions concerning the administration
political committee.7
Arelis Hern ndez, Undocumented immigrant among fellows working for DNC, ASH. OST, June 2015, (emphasis added). figura del Cindy Nava, NUEVO HERALD, June 2015, ([S]he involved the Democratic National Committee, where she collaborates policies order help women, children, and Hispanic people.) (emphasis added).
The Democrats, DREAMer Cindy Nava her fellowship DNC HQ, WITTER (June 7:50 AM), (Tweet from the Democratic Party official Twitter
account announcing Cindy Nava employment)
Mame Reliey Fellowship, DEMOCRATS, (last visited July 14,
Id. (emphasis added).
See e.g., DNC Research Fellowship, ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA, (last visited July 14, 2015) (providing for New Media,
Targeting, and Technology Departments fellowship); DNC Research Fellowship, ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA, (last visited July 14, 2015) (providing for New Media, Targeting,
and Technology Department fellowship 2010); Voter Protection Fellow, ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA, (last visited July 14, 2015) (providing for legal fellowship).
Participation foreign nationals decisions involving election-related activities, C.F.R. 110.20(i) (2015).
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
This regulation prohibits foreign nationals from working any meaningful capacity for
political committee (like the DNC). Foreign nationals defined individual who not citizen the United States and who not lawfully admitted for permanent residence,
defined U.S.C. 1101(a)(20). person lawfully admitted for permanent residence they
have been lawfully accorded the privilege residing permanently the United States
immigrant accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed. The legal
definition election-related activity broad. Election defined the process which
individuals, whether opposed unopposed, seek nomination for election, election, Federal
office. This includes general elections,11 primary elections,12 runoff elections,13 caucuses
conventions,14 and special elections.15 Generally, Federal election activity includes voter
registration efforts, voter identification, get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities, generic campaign
activity, and any public communication that refers clearly candidate for Federal office. The
particular regulation, however, also applies non-Federal races. The definition appears
Cindy Nava employment this Fellow direct violation this regulation and the
empowering statutes. Ms. Nava work, minimum, valued $10.50 per hour worked.17 So,
the sum hours worked Ms. Nava multiplied this rate contribution the DNC
according these regulations. This is, unquestionably and unambiguously, value under the
empowering statute interpreted the FEC regulations. Thus, the FEC should investigate Ms.
Nava fellowship the DNC and determine the value provided. While conceivable that
fellow only provides minimal services, equally conceivable that fellow distinguishable
from intern whose value would unquestionably $10.50 per hour would afforded
greater degree responsibility, required work more crucial projects, and provide the
organization with greater contribution.
The United States has prohibited non-citizen participation election related activities for
over fifty years. The United States Supreme Court has held that such prohibitions are legally
permissible under the U.S. Constitution.18 The United States Congress most recent prohibition
Prohibition contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements foreign
nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, U.S.C. 510), C.F.R. 110.20(a)(3)(ii) (2015). U.S.C. 1101 (2012).
Election, C.F.R. 100.2(a) (2015). C.F.R. 100.2(b). C.F.R. 100.2(c). C.F.R. 100.2(d). C.F.R. 100.2(e). C.F.R. 100.2(f). U.S.C. 30101 (2012).
D.C. Code 32-1003(a)(4) (2015).
See Sugarman Dougall, 413 U.S. 634, 648 (1973); Pope Williams, 193 U.S. 621, 632 634 (1904); Boyd
Nebraska, 143 U.S. 135, 161 (1892).
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
began 1966. Congress prohibited foreign nationals from providing contributions federal
candidates.19 The U.S. Justice Department and the Attorney General enforced this prohibition
with available punishment $5,000 fine, five years prison, combination
Upon the creation the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the U.S. Congress
transferred enforcement responsibilities from the Department Justice the FEC.21 The FEC
implemented regulation that focused solely non-citizen persons and illegal aliens who
provided liquid assets promised other monetary forms support.22 Nevertheless, the
implication this regulation soon required the FEC address the political actions nonnational persons and corporations.
The FEC addressed control foreign nationals under these rules two exemplary
advisory opinions. 1980 the Revere Sugar Corp. which was incorporated the State
Delaware but was wholly owned and controlled foreign nationals requested clarification
before starting political committee the United States.23 The FEC provided that the
corporation was not foreign national because the business incorporated under Delaware laws
and its principle place business was New York.24 Nevertheless, foreign nationals could not
participate any the decision-making activities the political organization.25 Any activity
any board member regarding this organization would eliminate the political committee legal
legitimacy. 1982 Syntex, Inc. requested clarification regarding providing funds candidates
through its American subsidiary. stipulated all decisions would made the subsidiary
citizen board members.27 The subsidiary operated under Delaware law and its principle place
business was California.28 The FEC informed the corporation that the subsidiary was U.S.
national under the Act. could participate the political system, long foreign person
participates any way the decision-making process.
Foreign Agents Registration Act 1938, amendments, Pub. No. 486, 8(a), Stat. 244, 248 249 (1966)
(codified U.S.C. 613 (1970)).
Id. (according the Bureau Labor Statistics, $5,000 (1966) equivalent over $36,650 (2015)).
Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments 1976 324(a), Pub. No. 283, Stat. 475, 493 (1976)
(codified U.S.C. 441e (1976)).
See Prohibited, Fed. Reg. 35931, 35950 (1976) (codified C.F.R. 110.4 (1977)).
FEC Advisory Opinion 1980 100 (Sept. 19, 1980).
Id. *2.
Id. *2.
FEC Advisory Opinion 1982 10, (Mar. 29, 1982).
Id. *2.
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
These two examples (of many) are demonstrative the FEC early position that foreign
nationals should not provide any voice election related activities. Any activity has been
construed and should remain understood any activity. Foreign nationals these two cases
were not permitted speak, attend, consider the day-to-day operation the long-term
strategy the political organizations their corporations set up. June 1989, the FEC proposed codifying these holding prohibiting foreign citizens
and non-nationals from participating any political activity. November 24, 1989, the FEC
proposed revisions its foreign national participation rules.30 doing so, the FEC codified its
existing opinion regarding participation and clarified its scope: The revisions also add new
paragraph (a)(3) prohibit foreign nationals from participating election-related decisions
corporations, labor organizations, political committees other persons, including decisions
concerning contributions and expenditures. This regulation was uncontroversial when was
The FEC has issued several advisory opinions the scope this interpretation. 1992
the FEC considered Nansay Hawaii political contributions.33 Nansay Hawaii was wholly
owned Nansay Corp., which was Japanese privately held corporation. Nansay Hawaii
proposed fund its political activities solely its Hawaiian operations and have its decision
made board comprised solely American citizens. The Commission approved its political
program, but conditioned its approval, stating:
[T]he Commission conditioned its approval the operation partly the basis
that foreign national members the subsidiarys Board would abstain from
voting matters concerning the SSF and its activities. The Commission also
conditioned its approval the basis that the foreign national Board members
would abstain from voting the selection individuals operate the SSF and
exercise decision-making authority with respect SSF contributions and
expenditures. only the non-foreign national Board members, who presently
constitute both quorum and majority the Board, participate the discussion
and vote the selection the proposed committee, and only non-foreign
nationals participate the functions and operations the committee, Nansay
Hawaii will compliance with section 110.4(a)(3).34 interpreting, the FEC strictly prohibits any activity foreign nationals making any
decision. The FEC prohibited all foreign national members this corporation from providing
See Contributions and Expenditures; Prohibited Contributions, Fed. Reg. 48580 (Nov. 24, 1989) (codified
C.F.R. 110.4(a)).
Contributions and Expenditures; Prohibited Contributions, Fed. Reg. 24351, 24352 (June 1989).
Contributions and Expenditures; Prohibited Contributions, Fed. Reg. 48580.
FEC Advisory Opinion 1992 (June 26, 1992).
Id. *4.
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
any input any nature any decision any decision that could affect other decisions (like
naming members the selection board). 1995 the Allison Engine Company Political Action Committee requested clarification
after Rolls-Royce purchased its parent company.35 considering the PACs bylaws, the FEC
concluded that:
[T]he proposed activities the PAC described its by-laws indicate that, after
the company acquired foreign corporation, foreign nationals will not
direct, control, otherwise participate directly indirectly the decisionmaking process the PAC. addition, the by-laws indicate that the PAC
will not receive contributions from foreign national sources. The Commission,
therefore, considers your proposed safeguards sufficient ensure the PACs
compliance with the prohibition foreign national participation.36
These safeguards prohibited foreign nationals from providing any input (directly indirectly)
the day-to-day long-term activities the PAC. 2000 Extendicare Health Services, Inc. Delaware corporation with its principle
place business Wisconsin, but wholly owned Canadian corporation requested
clarification regarding the formation separate segregated fund.37 The Commission noted that
the Board Directors must delegate all decisions concerning the administration the SSF
the Special Committee some other corporate personnel group comprised exclusively
United States citizens individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence the United
States. limited permissible involvement foreign board directs making general
policy decision establish the SSF, the general policy decision abolish the SSF. The
Commission then noted, Beyond this level basic corporate control through its governing
board, other decisions Extendicare and its personnel relating the PAC, including its
formation and operating policies, come within the purview the foreign national prohibition
set forth 110.4(a)(3). 2002 Congress expanded the prohibitions foreign nationals.40 The language the
statute evolved include anything value that directly indirectly contributes
political campaign. The FEC regulations concluded that this statutory revision did not require
FEC Advisory Committee Opinion 1995 (June 30, 1995).
Id. (internal citation omitted).
FEC Advisory Opinion 2000 (July 28, 2000).
Id. *6.
Id. (emphasis added).
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act 2002, Pub. No. 107 155, 116 Stat. (2002) (relevant section codified U.S.C. 30121(a) (2012)).
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
major changes its regulations regarding foreign national participation federal elections, but
the regulations were moved the Code Federal Regulations.41 The FEC noted:
Foreign nationals are prohibited from taking part decisions about contributions
and donations any Federal, State, local candidates to, by, any political
committees political organizations, and decisions about expenditures and
disbursements made support of, opposition to, such candidates, political
committees political organizations.42
The explanation noted further, Numerous comments received regarding the proposed rules
supported this provision the appropriate way prevent foreign nationals from engaging
election-related activities, particularly the context U.S. subsidiaries foreign-owned
corporations. commenter opposed the proposed regulation.
Thus, remains uncontroversial, standing law that foreign nationals are not permitted
control directly indirectly the election-related activities candidates, political parties, PACs,
Super PACs, any other political organization. While participation does not include some
introductory acts corporate context, any conduct that influences the decision making process any organization listed the regulation within the prohibited activity. its face, the DNC decision hire Ms. Nava direct violation this provision.
The FEC should investigate this matter further determine the full extent Ms. Nava
responsibilities, her relationship the policy making team, and her effect the 2016 DNC
election strategy. one accepts true Ms. Nava and the DNC statements media outlets, Ms. Nava
helping the DNC craft its political message and communications women, Hispanics, and
others. Her message being communicated these people groups order achieve political
success the 2016 Presidential, Congressional, Gubernatorial, and local elections. The message the DNC these new outlets, minimum, presents Ms. Nava policy advisor for the
DNC who possess the requisite knowledge assist politicians, political organizations, and PACs their election activities. the legal history this provision makes unambiguous clear, this clear violation Federal Law.
The FEC advisory opinions support this conclusion. Since the 1980s, the FEC has
advised PACs prohibit foreign nationals from performing any meaningful role the day-today operations the strategic policy operations political organizations. The Commission has
stated foreign nationals [cannot] direct, control, otherwise participate directly indirectly
the decision-making process [a] PAC. Due this limitation, the FEC has limited foreign
See Contribution Limitations and Prohibitions, Fed. Reg. 69928, 69946 (Nov. 19, 2002) (adding political
organization and including donations and disbursements prohibited activity).
Contribution Limitations and Prohibitions, Fed. Reg. 69946 (emphasis added). See also Contribution
Limitations and Prohibitions, Fed. Reg. 54366, 54375 (Aug. 22, 2002).
Contribution Limitations and Prohibitions, Fed. Reg. 69946 (emphasis added).
FEC Advisory Committee Opinion 1995 15, (June 30, 1995)(emphasis added).
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
nationals who serve domestic corporations deciding create end political
operations.45 Anything more would come within the purview the foreign national prohibition set forth 110.4(a)(3).
Failure investigate the DNC violations would against decades advisory
opinions that represent the stated position the FEC. Ms. Nava fellowship either extends
fundraising and communications, data analysis, combination both. The advisory opinions
restricted the ability foreign nationals from making significant financial decisions including
soliciting domestic funds.47 Further, there distinguishing factor between foreign national
deciding PAC will provide funds candidate and foreign national developing that
candidate talking point. Data analysis provides political organizations (like the DNC) the
information necessary craft its political message, which ultimately will used the political
committee and its candidates Federal and Non-Federal elections. This indirect participation the decision making process, and therefore also prohibited federal law. investigation the FEC would shed light Ms. Nava responsibilities
relationship the DNC political purpose. would reveal whether the public statements the
DNC and Ms. Nava that places Ms. Nava political advisor helping craft the DNC 2016
political message political fluff designed embolden political base egregious and
flagrant violation Federal election law.
The Democratic National Committee Willfully and Knowingly Violating Federal
Law and Contradicting Federal Policy Permitting Foreign National
Contribute the Conventions Campaigns, Election Strategy, and Fundraising
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) political organization48 and political
committee49 under these statutes. incorporated 2016 Democratic National Convention
FEC Advisory Opinion 2000 17, (July 28, 2000).
See Id. (limiting foreign nationals board directors PACs associated company setting spending
limits). political organization is:
[A] party, committee, association, fund, other organization (whether not incorporated)
organized and operated primarily for the purpose directly indirectly accepting contributions making expenditure, both, for influencing attempting influence the selection,
nomination, election, appointment any individual any Federal, State, local public office office political organization, the election Presidential Vice-Presidential electors,
whether not such individual electors are selected, nominated, elected, appointed. U.S.C. 527(e)(1) 527(e)(2) (2012). political committee is:
[A]ny committee, club, association, other group persons which receives contributions
aggregating excess 1,000 during calendar year which makes expenditures aggregating excess 1,000 during calendar year; any separate segregated fund established under the
provisions section 316(b); any local committee political party which receives
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
under the laws the District Columbia. such, operates under the guidance federal
laws and district laws that are applicable these institutions.
The United States Congress created federal offense knowingly hire illegal alien. against Federal law hire, recruit for employment the United States alien
knowing the alien unauthorized alien with respect such employment There are
two elements this crime: (1) knowledge the alien illegal status, and (2) employment
offer.51 Generally, knowledge may actual knowledge constructive knowledge.52 Employee defined expansively:
The term employee shall include any employee, and shall not limited the
employees particular employer, unless the Act explicitly states otherwise, and
shall include any individual whose work has ceased consequence of,
connection with, any current labor dispute because any unfair labor practice,
and who has not obtained any other regular and substantially equivalent
employment. .53
The term employer does not provide expressed exception for political party employees,
candidate employees, other affiliated with the democratic process (but does exempt
government agency).54
Thus, the DNC violating federal law hiring Cindy Nava. Her fellowship constitutes
expenditures under the FEC regulation,55 and therefore these illegal expenditures are within the
scope FEC regulations. Her fellowship within the definition employee provided
contributions aggregating excess 5,000 during calendar year, makes payments
exempted from the definition contribution expenditure defined section 301 (8) and (9)
aggregating excess 5,000 during calendar year, makes contributions aggregating
excess 1,000 during calendar year makes expenditures aggregating excess 1,000
during calendar year. U.S.C. 30101(4) (2012). U.S.C. 1324a(a)(1)(A) (2012).
See Agri Processor Co. NLRB, 514 F.3d 3-4 (D.C. Cir. 2008); Aramark Facility Servs. SEIU, Local 1877,
530 F.3d 817, 824 (9th Cir. 2008); AFL Chertoff, 552 F.Supp.2d 999, 1007-008 (N.D. Cal. 2007).
See Mester Mfg. Co. INS, 879 F.2d 561 (9th Cir. 1989). U.S.C. 152(3) (2012). See also Agri Processor Co., 514 F.3d (citing Sure-Tan, Inc. NLRB, 467 U.S.
883 (1984)). U.S.C. 152(2) (2012). expenditure payments, gifts other things value. Scope, C.F.R. 100.110(a) (2015). This includes
services (such those provided DNC fellows) performed and compensated value under that which would
the normal charge for the same service provided that market that time. Gifts, subscription, loan, advance
deposit money. C.F.R. 100.111(e)(1) (2) (2015).
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015
statute because her work not included the narrow exceptions provided that statute.56 The
DNC disregarded the employment statute. They have actively employed Ms. Nava knowing that
she lacked proper authorization work the United States. The FEC should ensure that the
Democratic National Committee, the course performing function regulated the FEC,
following all applicable laws and regulations.
For these reasons, Judicial Watch requests full, formal investigation into the
employment Cindy Nava the Democratic National Committee beginning May June
2015. Her employment unlawful contribution political campaign foreign national
under U.S.C. 30121. Her employment grants her the ability influence decision making
behaviors the DNC the 2016 Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, and Gubernatorial
elections prohibited C.F.R. 110.20(i) (2015). The act hiring her is, and itself, illegal act according U.S.C. 1324a(a)(1)(A) (2012). These actions are particularly
egregious because the DNC flagrantly promotes their illegal activities, lawlessness, and
disrespect for the rule law.
Thank you for your prompt attention this matter
Thomas Fitton
Employee does not include any individual employed agricultural laborer, the domestic service any
family person his home, any individual employed his parent spouse, any individual having the status independent contractor, any individual employed supervisor, any individual employed
employer subject the Railway Labor Act, amended from time time, any other person who not
employer herein defined. U.S.C. 152(3) (2012).
Federal Election Commission
August 25, 2015 hereby swear, the best knowledge and belief, that the foregoing true and correct.
Thomas Fitton
City Washington
District Columbia
Signed and sworn before this ___ day August, 2015,
Thomas Fitton, President Judicial Watch, Inc.
Christopher Farrell
Notary Public for the District Columbia Commission expires: 11/14/19