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|For Immediate Release
March 3, 2004
|SOFT MONEY DONATIONS RESULT IN $132,000 IN CIVIL PENALTIES|
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has entered into conciliation agreements with the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") resolving violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act).
The conciliation agreement resulted in total civil penalties of $132,000. Fannie Mae will pay $10,000, the NRSC will pay $24,000, and the RNC will pay a penalty of $98,000.
The Commission found that certain donations from Fannie Mae during the period from 1998 through 2000 were made to or deposited in nonfederal accounts of the party committees that were not "building funds." The Act prohibits contributions or expenditures from Congressionally chartered corporations in connection with any election. The law in effect at the time provided for a specific exception for contributions to building fund accounts.
According to the conciliation agreement, Fannie Mae donated $51,470 to the Republican Governors? Association and these funds were deposited in the Republican National State Elections Committee account of the RNC. The RNC also improperly deposited $250,000 received from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") in its general nonfederal account in 2001 even though the donation had been properly designated for the building fund.
Fannie Mae also made donations of $50,000 to the 1999 Senate-House Dinner Committee and $100,000 to the 2000 House-Senate Dinner Committee that did not contain specific building fund designations at the time the donations were made. The Dinner Committees did, however, deposit the donations in building fund accounts.
The Commission also found that the NRSC improperly deposited three different donations it received from Freddie Mac (totaling $130,250) into nonfederal accounts not designated as building funds. These donations were refunded in 2001 ($130,000) and 2003 ($250). The FEC voted to take no further action against Freddie Mac but sent it an admonishment letter regarding a donation made to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) without a designation to a building fund. This donation was properly deposited by the NRCC.
The investigation stemmed from a complaint filed with the FEC by John Berthoud, President of the National Taxpayers Union.
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|COMPLIANCE CASE MADE PUBLIC|
|WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election
Commission has recently made public its final action on one matter
previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition
*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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