1/31/05 Held a planning luncheon at the Tower Club. Approximately 25 attended, including Harriet Trudell, former FSDEF board member, currently Democratic Political Director for the state of NM, and a key advisor to Sen. Minority Leader, Harry Reid.


3/24/05 Memo to FSC Members and Friends regarding the Final Rule for Eligibility Requirements for Standard Mail, cautioning them against participating in the strategy recommended by various mail groups, to send volumes of past mail packages to USPS officials for determination of eligibility.


3/29/05 Memo to FSC Members and Friends announcing FEC's list of 16 legislative recommendations for changes to the Federal Election Campaign Act.


4/8/05 Memo to FSC Members and Friends advising of the re-starting of the coalition to change to federal tax code to eliminate the distinction between grass roots and direct lobbying.


4/8/05 Memo to FSC Members and Friends announcing FEC Proposed Rulemaking regarding use of the Internet. Comments must be received NLT June 3, 2005.


4/27/05 Memo to FSC Members and Friends advising that FSC was engaged in negotiations with USPS officials regarding problems with the Customer Support Rule scheduled for implementation June 1, 2005, regarding the effect of various forms of personalization in determining which nonprofit mail packages warranted the preferred nonprofit Standard Mail rate and which required First-Class postage.


4/29/05 Followup memo to FSC Members and Friends reporting progress to date on the personalization issue.


5/3/05 Memo to FSC Members and Friends declaring a major victory in negotiations with USPS officials regarding a new Customer Support Rule which dramatically improved to language of the prior CSR. FSC members will now have far greater flexibility in the personalization of mail packages without fear of being required to use First-Class postage.


6/8/05 FSC and FSDEF filed comments with the FEC regarding its proposed new regulations related to communications on the Internet. The proposed regualtions related mostly to bloggers, thus were not of direct relevance to FSC/FSDEF members. However, the FSC/FSDEF comments urged special attention to clarity of terms (so they would not be misapplied to non-bloggers) and observed the pattern of the FEC to respond to court decisions by applying less restrictive decisions to ONLY the jurisdiction of the ruling court, but when the decsion was more restrictive, applying it nationally, not just within the jurisdiction of the ruling court.


9/21/05 Sent letter to Sen. Grassley, Chmn, Senate Finance Committee, expressing serious concern over several proposed new regulations on nonprofits.


9/21/05 Sent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by FEC to FSC members and friends. This NPRM deals with possible new regulation of 501(c)(3) organizations and their activities near election time.


9/21/05 Sent memo to FSC members and friends detailing the results of a decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals re a fine of $554,196 against United Seniors of America for violating a prohibition of using specified words on their fundraising envelopes.


9/30/05 FSC submitted formal comments to the FEC urging that the FEC continue to exempt 501(C)(3) organizations from FEC electioneering rules and rely on the IRS to enforce its ban on electioneering by 501(C)(3) organizations.


10/14/05 FSDEF submitted an Amicus Brief supporting an appeal by United Seniors Association, Inc. for a rehearing en banc by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, regarding the court's denial of a petition for review of a decision by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the Department of Health and Human Services' Appeals Board to fine USA more than $500,000 for using the words "Social Security" on a carrier envelope several years ago. FSDEF argued that the Court panel (1) misapplied the Chevron Rule re carrier envelopes, and (2) misapplied the vagueness standard. If allowed to stand, this decision can set a dangerous precedent of government suppression of free speech, dramatically limiting direct mail activities.