On March 3, 2006 the U.S. Court of Appeals found that the FEC acted appropriately when it determined that the Lyndon LaRouche’s Committee for a New Bretton Woods must repay $222,034 in federal matching funds received during Mr. LaRouche’s bid for the 2000 Democratic presidential nomination.
All presidential campaigns must submit to an audit by the FEC if they accept public matching funds during the primary campaign. The LaRouche committee received $1,448,389 in federal matching funds. The majority of these funds were paid to seven vendors that provided fundraising and advertising services for the past three nominations that LaRouche had sought; LaRouche was the vendors’ sole client. The committee received $222,034 in public funds in connection with “mark-up charges” paid to these vendors.
The FEC found that the committee had not provided adequate documentation for these mark-up charges and thus they were not qualified campaign expenses. The court confirmed that the committee did not prove to the FEC that these charges were a qualified campaign expense; therefore, the FEC’s order that the committee must repay the charges was not “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” as the committee had alleged. Additionally, the court held that the committee had not expressly sought judicial review of LaRouche’s petition for administrative rehearing and, therefore, the court did not have jurisdiction to reconsider that issue. For more information on this case see the following 2004 Record articles: June, page 7; September, page 3; November, page 3.