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|For Immediate Release
July 13, 2006
FEC REPORTS RECORD CIVIL PENALTIES IN FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2006
WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission (FEC) reported today that enforcement actions completed in the first six months of 2006 have resulted in record civil penalties, a total of over $5 million, more than in any full year of the Commission’s thirty-year history.
“The FEC’s vigorous enforcement of the Federal Election Campaign Act in the midst of the agency implementing changes in the law resulting from the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the agency,” said Michael Toner, Chairman of the Federal Election Commission.
“We are trying to improve compliance with the law through better information, education and training. Yet we remain willing to enforce the law aggressively when violations occur,” said Robert Lenhard, Vice Chairman of the Federal Election Commission.
Part of this extraordinary total for civil penalties comes from the FEC’s action against the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, which resulted in the largest civil penalty in FEC history. Beyond that case, however, the Commission also closed six other matters with civil penalties over $100,000 and eight with penalties of at least $50,000 - more cases in this penalty range than in any other similar period in recent years. The FEC closed a total of 130 matters in the first six months of 2006. For a full list of cases with penalties of $50,000 or more see http://www.fec.gov/press/bkgnd/history.shtml. In addition, the Commission collected a $222,000 repayment of public funds stemming from the 2000 Presidential election, after a federal court upheld the Commission’s determination that public funds had been impermissibly used by the LaRouche campaign.
Violations in these cases included prohibited contributions from corporations and labor organizations, excessive contributions from individuals, contributions in the name of another, use of corporate funds to reimburse employee contributions, and illegal corporate facilitation of political contributions.
Summaries of each FEC enforcement action can be found at http://www.fec.gov/press/press2006/2006ComplianceReleases.shtml.
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