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FEC v. McCallum


On December 11, 1996, the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts issued a judgment and consent order to which both parties agreed. Under the order, Elkin McCallum must pay a $50,000 civil penalty to the FEC for making excessive contributions to the Tsongas for President Committee.

The FEC filed the lawsuit against Mr. McCallum alleging that he had made $250,000 in loans to Paul Tsongas's campaign in 1991 and 1992. These loans constituted excessive contributions. Specifically, the FEC alleged that Mr. McCallum had made the following contributions:

  • He purchased a ticket for $1,000 to a Tsongas Committee fundraiser on April 8, 1991;
  • He contributed $100,000 to the Tsongas Committee on August 13, 1991 , and $50,000 on October 21, 1991; and
  • He wrote a $100,000 check on February 10, 1992, payable to Mr. Tsongas's chief fundraiser, Nicholas Rizzo, intending it to be a loan to the Tsongas Committee.

The Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) states that an individual has a $1,000 contribution limit for a candidate or that candidate's authorized committee per election and that the definition of contribution includes loans. 2 U.S.C. §§431(8)(A)(i) and 441a(a)(1)(A). Additionally, FEC regulations make it unlawful for a person to make a loan that exceeds the contribution limits whether or not it is repaId. 11 CFR 100.7(a)(1)(i)(A).

In a settlement agreement, Mr. McCallum did not contest the allegations. In addition to the civil penalty, the court permanently enjoined Mr. McCallum from making excessive contributions.

Source:   FEC RecordFebruary 1997