solicitation, nearly fifty percent of the money collected by the committee. (Williams had loaned his own committee $ 14,000; thus, only $ 16,000 of some $ 313,000 known to have been spent promoting his candidacy came from sources other than AMPAC, its solicitation, and Williams himself).
Taken together, the circumstances were sufficient to persuade the General Counsel he had "reason to believe" AMPAC, Williams, and his committee had not remained at arm's length throughout the campaign, AMPAC's expenditures had therefore not been "independently" made, and further investigation was warranted.
The three Commissioners who "dissented" from the General Counsel's recommendation, and, in voting, deadlocked the Commission, concurred in a 25-page "Statement of Reasons" for doing so, filed by Commissioner Thomas J. Josefiak under date of June 26, 1987. Expressed in considerably greater detail than they are summarized here, Josefiak's reasons included the unequivocal denials by Williams and AMPAC of the central accusation against them, viz., that they had collaborated in such a fashion as to deprive AMPAC's financial support of Williams' candidacy of its character as "independent expenditures," noting in passing that Williams had made his denial under oath. As to the solicitation of contributions by AMPAC, Josefiak announced that he was in disagreement with A.O. 1980-46 (and had recently so declared as the Commission had considered another advisory opinion), and was unwilling that its rationale be extended beyond its facts. He did not, he said, regard an expenditure independently undertaken to lose its independence retroactively by the fact that a candidate subsequently derived indirect benefit from it.
The allegations with respect to the prospect of an AMA-funded televised debate, Josefiak said, were based on hearsay. Williams' account of the matter asserted that the suggestion of the AMA as a source of funding actually originated with the journalist who had hoped to play a role in the debate. And, in context, the remarks reflected nothing more than "wishful thinking" by the candidate and the reporter, each with his own "separate and legitimate reasons for hoping the debate would occur," neither of whom took "meaningful action" to cause it to happen.
Then, turning to the "dollar disparity" between AMPAC-generated and third-party funding of Williams' campaign, Josefiak observed that there is no plausible logical connection between the level of independent expenditure on behalf of a candidate in relation to the amount of money raised by his campaign committee directly which would permit an inference of collusion. If there were, he said, an inference might as easily be drawn to the contrary of the General Counsel's; in other words, a well-financed candidate committee with a chance of winning would be tempted to coordinate with independent contributors to employ everyone's expenditures to maximum advantage. The General Counsel's "curiosity" as to the explanation for the disparity was, for him, insufficient reason to investigate. "I cannot . . . support an enforcement approach based upon finding alleged violations simply because the Commission does not understand or is uneasy about a particular situation."
Stark observes, correctly, that the very ambiguity of the situation militates in favor of an investigation, and that is all he is calling upon the Commission to do at this point. But if the Commission is not altogether as autonomous as the office of a prosecuting attorney, see DCCC, 831 F.2d at 1134, it is nevertheless surely committed to the Commission's discretion to determine where and when to commit its investigative resources. See Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 831-32, 84 L. Ed. 2d 714, 105 S. Ct. 1649 (1985). Thus, to the extent its decisions in that regard are reviewable for abuse of that discretion, a reviewing court must do so with deference, FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, 454 U.S. 27, 37, 70 L. Ed. 2d 23, 102 S. Ct. 38 (1981), and this Court reads DCCC to require that the same deference be accorded the reasoning of "dissenting" Commissioners who prevent Commission action by voting to deadlock as is given the reasoning of the Commission when it acts affirmatively as a body to dismiss a complaint.
Upon that assumption the Court concludes that Commissioner Josefiak's Statement of Reasons is "sufficiently reasonable," if not "the only reasonable [decision] or even the [one] the court would have reached" on the General Counsel's Report of his findings, id. at 39, and it will, therefore, grant defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismiss the complaint with prejudice.
For the foregoing reasons, it is, this 8th day of February, 1988,
ORDERED, that defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted, and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice.