Federal Election Commission

The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency whose purpose is to enforce campaign finance law in United States federal elections. Created in 1974 through amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act, the commission describes its duties as "to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections." Due to multiple members resigning and no confirmed replacements, the commission lacks a quorum and cannot conduct most of its regulatory functions. The commission is made up of six members, who are appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate; each member serves a six-year term, two seats are subject to appointment every two years. Commissioners can, serve after their terms expire if they are not replaced. By law, no more than three commissioners can be members of the same political party, at least four votes are required for any official commission action.

Following Matthew Petersen's resignation on August 31, 2019, the commission has had only three members, is unable to conduct most of its regulatory and decision-making functions. It has not had six members for multiple years following after Ann Ravel's resignation in March 2017 and Lee Goodman's resignation in February 2018; the chairmanship of the commission rotates among the members each year, with no member serving as chairman more than once during a six-year term. However, a member may serve as chair more than once by serving beyond the six-year mark if no successor is appointed; the commission's role is limited to the administration of federal campaign finance laws. It enforces limitations and prohibitions on contributions and expenditures, administers the reporting system for campaign finance disclosure and prosecutes violations, audits a limited number of campaigns and organizations for compliance, administers the presidential public funding programs for presidential candidates and, until nominating conventions, defends the statute in challenges to federal election laws and regulations.

The FEC publishes reports filed by Senate, House of Representatives and presidential campaigns that list how much each campaign has raised and spent, a list of all donors over $200, along with each donor's home address and job title. This database goes back to 1980. Private organizations are prohibited from using these data to solicit new individual donors, but may use this information to solicit political action committees; the FEC maintains an active program of public education, directed to explaining the law to the candidates, their campaigns, political parties and other political committees that it regulates. Critics of the FEC, including campaign finance reform supporters such as Common Cause and Democracy 21, have complained that it is a classic example of regulatory capture where it serves the interests of the ones it was intended to regulate; the FEC's bipartisan structure, established by Congress, renders the agency "toothless." Critics claim that most FEC penalties for violating election law come well after the actual election in which they were committed.

Additionally, some critics claim that the commissioners tend to act as an arm of the "regulated community" of parties, interest groups, politicians when issuing rulings and writing regulations. Others point out, that the commissioners divide evenly along partisan lines, that the response time problem may be endemic to the enforcement procedures established by Congress. To complete steps necessary to resolve a complaint – including time for defendants to respond to the complaint, time to investigate and engage in legal analysis, where warranted, prosecution – takes far longer than the comparatively brief period of a political campaign. Critics including former FEC chairman Bradley Smith and Stephen M. Hoersting, executive director of the Center for Competitive Politics, criticize the FEC for pursuing overly aggressive enforcement theories that amount to an infringement on the First Amendment right to free speech. Division over the issue became prominent during the last several years of the Obama administration.

Commissioners deadlocked on several votes over whether to regulate Twitter and other online mediums for political speech, as well as a vote to punish Fox News for the selection criteria it used in a presidential debate. Critics of the commission argue that the membership structure causes deadlocks on 3-3 votes, but others argue that deadlocks are quite rare, based on principle rather than partisanship. Since 2008, 3-3 votes have become more common at the FEC. From 2008 to August 2014, the FEC has had over 200 tie votes, accounting for 14 percent of all votes in enforcement matters. Joan D. Aikens – April 1975 – September 1998. Thomas B. Curtis – April 1975 – May 1976. Thomas E. Harris – April 1975 – October 1986. Neil O. Staebler – April 1975 – October 1978. Vernon W. Thomson – April 1975 – June 1979. Robert Tiernan – April 1975 – December 1981. William L. Springer – May 1976 – February 1979. John Warren McGarry – October 1978 – August 1998 (reappoin

Firtsak Ivan Fedorovych

Ivan Fedorovych Firtsak-Kroton was Ukrainian circus performer, wrestler and freestyle wrestler, once said to be the world's strongest man. He was born in a peasants’ family. In 1919 he moved to Prague to earn a living. In the 1920s he began to win fighting competitions in Prague, he became a winner of the Prague heavy-weight club Prague—Bubenech and became a champion of Czechoslovakia in hand-to-hand fighting and weight-lifting. He was a circus performer at the Hertsfert-circus, he traveled to the United States. He performed under the pseudonym Ivan-Syla in 64 countries, his routine included ripping iron chains apart. He competed against world champions in boxing, he took the name of the legendary Kroton-hero, who came to the Olympic stadium with a bull on his shoulders, holding it for more than an hour and a half. Firtsak matched this feat, he toured Europe and America, in solo shows. He performed before the English Queen, he was a winner of the body show in Paris. In 1928 he was acknowledged to be the strongest man on the planet.

In 1930 he returned to his native village. After Zakarpattia joined the USSR, he headed a police department in Belki. In October, 1945 in honor of the anniversary of Zakarpattia's liberation in Uzhgorod drama theatre he fought 13 time USSR champion, weight-lifter Yakov Kutsenko; the fight ended in a draw. He did not leave circus activity until his death, he took part in many regional and republic competitions in heavy athletics, kettle bell lifting, promoted strength for sport and health. Since 1999 the annual competitions in weight-lifting on I. Firtsak-Kroton’s award are conducted in the village Belki; the writer Anton Kopinets wrote the book Kroton about his life. In 2013 Viktor Anriyenko made the movie Ivan about him; the leading role was performed by Dmitriy Khaladzhi. Firtsak Ivan Fedorovych on IMDb

Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles

For the Russian-American Metropolia, see Orthodox Church in America. The Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles is an Old Calendarist jurisdiction which comprised the two archdioceses in America and the British deanery of the Holy Synod of Milan. In February 2011 the Milan Synod granted autonomous status to the jurisdiction, it is not in communion with any mainstream Orthodox church, although it is in communion with some Old Calendarist and True Orthodox groups. The church has seven bishops, 36 parishes and missions, 31 monastic and non-monastic clergy in the United States and the United Kingdom. Before their union with the Milan Synod, the American archdioceses of the Milan Synod were administratively independent and in communion with no one. Both archdioceses were closely tied to separated jurisdictions related to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In 1977, Archbishop Hilarion of Texas was elected under the oversight of Archbishop Joseph, a spiritual son of Archbishop Palladius, head of the Ukrainian Autocephalic Church in Exile, had been made a bishop ten years earlier.

The Abbey of the Holy Name, the spiritual center of the Archdiocese of New York, has been the continuation of a monastic compound extending back over 100 years. The current metropolitan, was the spiritual son of Metropolitan William H. F. Brothers who an Old Catholic cleric, had been ordained as a Western rite bishop at St. Nicholas' Cathedral, New York, in 1933, who had extensive ties to Metropolitan Anastassy of ROCOR; as traditional Orthodox communities formed of Western converts continued to develop in Europe, Archbishop Auxentios of Athens, primate of the True Orthodox Church of Greece, first established a West European diocese in 1978 by elevating Archimandrite Gabriel to the episcopate of Lisbon. Six years a second bishop, Tiago of Lisbon, was established for western Europe. In 1984 Archbishop Auxentios blessed the westerners with self-governance. With this blessing, the Western Synod grew beyond Portugal. In 1990, after a period of upheaval in the TOC of Greece during which Metropolitan Gabriel departed for the Orthodox Church of Poland, the Western Synod elevated Bishop Evloghios of Milan to be its second metropolitan, re-establishing an Orthodox episcopate in the see of St. Ambrose for the first time since the Great Schism of 1054.

The Archbishop of Milan was chosen as Primate of the Synod of the West and became known for its stance against ecumenism as well as its frequent use of pre-schism Western services. In 1990, the Western Synod entered into communion with Metropolitan Mystyslav of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Exile, which in 1991 became the Orthodox Patriarchate of Kyiv. In 1994, Patriarch Volodymyr recognized the autonomy granted by Archbishop Auxentios and confirmed it with his blessing before his death in 1995. Factionalization in the Ukrainian Church forced the bishops of the Synod of Milan to separate from the newly elected Patriarch, former Bishop Filaret Denisenko of the UAOC, in 1997, the bishops of the Western Synod elevated Metropolitan Evloghios to Metropolitan of Milan and Aquileia, restoring the original rank of the Autonomous Church of Milan. In 1997, the archdioceses of Texas and of New York were received into the Milan Synod. To correct any deficiencies or perceived ambiguities in their consecrations, which were performed while they were associated with the various splinters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, they were accepted through the rite of Chierothesia.

The Milan Synod's American archdioceses operated under the formal headship of Archbishop Hilarion of Texas from 1997 to 2011, with two bishops and a stable presence of 25 to 30 parishes during most of this period. Discussions towards establishing an independent American metropolitanate in communion with the See of Milan began in November 2010; the second ranking archbishop for the United States, Archbishop John of New York, was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan of North and South America for the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles in Milan, Italy. Two new bishops were elected to act as assistants to the metropolitan, Bishop Fanourios of Lincoln and Bishop Christodoulos of Miami. Bishop Fanourios was consecrated the week of February 27 in Milan and Bishop Christodoulos was consecrated the following year. On 12 July 2011, Metropolitan John of New York and Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos entered into full communion with Metropolitan Raphael of the True Orthodox Church in Russia.

This event was celebrated as the "Day of Unity" by all three churches until 2014. On March 5, 2011, the chancery of the Holy Synod of Milan made public statements that negotiations were taking place to unite the Synod of Milan to the Patriarchate of Moscow and that they rejected communion with anyone who did not agree with their position. While the public response of the metropolia was a refusal to accept the claim as authoritative statement from Milan, the response among the American clergy was divided; the majority of the clergy, siding with the Metropolitan, opted to strengthen the new Metropolia's bonds with their sister churches throughout the world. A minority, began dealing with the patriarchate in secret from the Metropolitan, revealing their change in affiliation after it occurred. Upon early discovery, a provisional statement was released for signatur