The FEC dismissed a complaint filed by a hypnotherapist that was directed at Michelle Obama's nonprofit and celebrities who supported it, including Tom Hanks, Selena Gomez, and Shonda Rhimes

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Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks during a rally for When We All Vote's National Week of Action at Chaparral High School on September 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obama is the founder and a co-chairwoman of the organization that aims to help people register and to vote. Early voting for the 2018 midterm elections in Nevada begins on October 20
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks during a rally for When We All Vote's National Week of Action at Chaparral High School on September 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Ethan Miller/Getty Images
  • The complaint was made by Jay Stone, a retired hypnotherapist.

  • The Federal Election Commission found no evidence the nonprofit violated any related laws.

  • Celebrities named in the complaint included Tracee Ellis Ross and Megan Rapinoe.

The Federal Election Commission on Friday dismissed a complaint filed by a Wisconsin hypnotherapist that was directed a Michelle Obama-led nonprofit and celebrities who supported it — including Tom Hanks, Selena Gomez, and Shonda Rhimes.

In a unanimous ruling, the FEC found no reason to believe that the nonprofit, When We All Vote, and it's parent organization, Civic Nation, violated certain sections of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by failing to register and report as a political committee.

According to the act, a political committee is defined as "any committee, club, association, or other group of persons which receives contributions aggregating in excess of $1,000 during a calendar year or which makes expenditures aggregating in excess of $1,000 during a calendar year."

The commission determined that there was no information to support the complaint's assertion that When We All Vote and Civic Nation received contributions or made expenditures in excess of $1,000.

It also concluded that a number of well-known people who gave monetary donations to the nonprofit had not violated the act. On top of Hanks, Gomez, and Rhimes, the high-profile list of donors included US soccer player Megan Rapinoe, actress Tracee Ellis Ross, and singer, Faith Hill. According to its website, many of the people listed in the complaint are also co-chairs of When We All Vote.

The complaint was made by Jay Stone, a retired hypnotherapist who has filed numerous complaints with the FEC in regards to 2020 election donations.

The complaint alleged that When We All Vote falsely designated itself as a nonprofit organization and "did more to help Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election than the Democratic National Committee" despite claiming to be a nonpartisan organisation.

Stone also alleged that the organization's mission to close the age and race voting gap by engaging in voter registration and get-out-the vote activity "was merely a smoke screen for WWAV to achieve its goal of helping Democrat Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election."

Legal counsel representing the nonprofit called the allegations "patently untrue."

"Civic Nation and When We All Vote take their obligations to remain non-partisan very seriously and only engage in neutral, unbiased election activities," the response reads.

In a letter addressed to Hanks on July 19, 2022, the FEC stated that there was no information to support Stone's assertion.

When We All Vote was created by former first lady Michelle Obama and is a nonpartisan initiative working on increasing voter participation. The organization is an initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

When reached by Insider, Stone was not immediately available to comment.

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