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For Immediate Release
October 4, 2005

 

Contact:
Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis

MISSOURI DEMOCRATS PAY $110,000 CIVIL PENALTY

Washington -- The Federal Election Commission (FEC) today announced a conciliation agreement with the Missouri Democratic State Committee, in which the party agreed to pay a $110,000 civil penalty and retain outside consultants to review the party’s compliance procedures, and train committee staff and volunteers.  Additionally, within 90 days of the agreement, the party will file amendments to its 2004 election cycle reports with the FEC, and maintain and submit to the FEC, upon request, detailed documentation supporting those amendments. The party also agreed to retain an independent firm to audit its compliance with federal campaign finance laws in 2005 and 2006.

            This agreement stems from FEC findings of multiple violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) during the 1999-2000 election cycle, including failure to report the receipt and transfer of excessive contributions, acceptance of prohibited contributions and failure to report their receipt and transfer, misstatements of the party’s financial activity and failure to report debts.  The case was initiated following an FEC audit.  The committee has been audited by the FEC after each election cycle from 1996 through 2002 due to irregularities in its financial reporting.

Specifically, the Missouri Democratic State Central Committee violated the law during the 2000 election cycle by:

  • failing to report the receipt and transfer to the party’s nonfederal account of $176,125 in excessive contributions;
  • failing to report $159,500 in prohibited corporate and labor contributions;
  • accepting $69,500 in prohibited contributions;
  • misreporting their receipts, disbursements and cash-on-hand;
  • failing to disclose outstanding debts totaling over $620,000; and
  • failing to report the receipt of a $5,000 contribution.

 

1.

MUR 5611

RESPONDENTS:

(a)  Missouri Democratic State Committee, Rod Anderson,        treasurer

(b)  The Green Law Firm

(c)   The Lakin Law Firm

(d)  The Padberg Law Firm

(e)  Robert Palmer PC

(f)   THF Realty Inc.

(g)  Zimmerman Properties LLC, et al.

COMPLAINANT:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions; corporate contributions; failure to report receipt and transfer of contributions; misstatement of financial activity; failure to report debts

DISPOSITION:

(a)     Conciliation Agreement: $110,000 civil penalty*

(b-f)  Reason to believe, but took no further action*

          [re: corporate contributions]

(g)     Reason to believe, but took no further action*   

          [re: excessive contribution; corporate contribution]

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5611 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:

1. Receipt of proper complaint

3. “Probable cause” stage

2. “Reason to believe” stage

4. Conciliation stage

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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