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FEC v. Fund for a Conservative Majority


On September 23, 1997, parties to this suit agreed to a final order and judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. Under that order, the defendants, Fund for a Conservative Majority (FCM) and its treasurer, Robert C. Heckman, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2,500 for having violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act).

Mr. Heckman failed to file the FCM's 1994 year-end report on time, a violation of 2 U.S.C. §434(a)(4)(A)(i). This section of the Act requires political committees other than authorized candidate committees to file quarterly reports during a year in which a general election is held. The report for the final quarter that ends on December 31 must be completed and returned to the FEC no later than January 31 of the following year.

The FCM's 1994 year-end report should have been submitted to the FEC by January 31, 1995. Mr. Heckman hand delivered a copy of the FCM's year-end report on September 7, 1995 -nearly nine months late. He also delivered another copy of the report to staff of the Commission's Office of General Counsel on June 27, 1996 -close to a year and a half after it was due.

Neither Mr. Heckman nor the FCM contested the Commission's allegations in this case. In addition to the civil penalty, the defendants were permanently enjoined from making similar violations of the Act.

Contempt judgment

On April 28, 2000, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted the FEC's motion to hold Robert Heckman and Fund for a Conservative Majority (FCM) in contempt of court for failing to pay a court-imposed civil penalty and for failing to file disclosure reports, as the court had ordered.

The court ordered Mr. Heckman and FCM to pay the outstanding civil penalty plus interest (amounting to $5,540); to pay a $5,000 contempt fine; and to file all outstanding disclosure reports. If Mr. Heckman and FCM fail to comply with the court's orders within 10 days, the court will impose additional contempt fines of $100 per day until they do so.

Source:   FEC Record — June 2000; and November 1997.