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|For Immediate Release
April 28, 2005
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF ARKANSAS TO PAY $360,000 CIVIL PENALTY
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission (FEC) today announced a conciliation agreement with the Republican Party of Arkansas in which the party agreed to pay a civil penalty of $360,000 and to submit to annual independent financial audits at the committees’ expense in each of the next five years. Reports on those audits, must be certified by a CPA and be submitted to the FEC each year.
This agreement stems from FEC findings of multiple violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) during the 1999-2000 election cycle including acceptance of excessive and prohibited contributions, failure to maintain required records and submit required disclosure information to the FEC, and improper allocation of activity between funds permissible under federal law and those to be used for state or local purposes only. The case was initiated following an FEC audit.
The FEC found that the party had failed to properly account for more than $2 million in media and other expenses during the 2000 campaign which resulted in excessive use of nonfederal or “soft money” for those expenses. The party also failed to disclose specific information about a significant proportion of its contributions and spending during the 2000 election cycle. It also failed to properly report more than $600,000 in transfers received from Republican national party committees. The committee also received $28,500 during the period in excessive contributions from individuals and $11,500 in contributions that were from sources prohibited under the FECA.
The committee has amended its disclosure reports and refunded excessive and prohibited contributions. They have also hired a certified public accountant and implemented new written financial policies and procedures. Full payment of the $360,000 civil penalty must be completed within six months.
*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:
It requires the votes of at least four of the six Commissioners to take any action. The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint. If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent.
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