Last night, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) released a conciliation agreement reached with Americans for a Republican Majority political action committee (ARMPAC) stemming from a complaint Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed against the PAC last August. As a result of CREW's FEC complaint, ARMPAC has agreed to pay a $115,000 civil penalty and go out of business. ARMPAC was created and led by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX).
This is one of the 50 largest fines ever obtained by the FEC in its 30-year history.
The FEC found that:
--ARMPAC failed to report accurately nearly a quarter million dollars in contributions and expenditures during the 2001-2002 election cycle.
--ARMPAC failed to report nearly $325,000 in debts owed to 25 campaign vendors.
--ARMPAC improperly used over $200,000 in soft money to pay for federal election activity. In particular, ARMPAC improperly used over $120,000 in soft money to pay for GOTV activities in Texas immediately before the 2002 general election.
CREW's executive director, Melanie Sloan, stated, "the conciliation agreement reached between the FEC and ARMPAC shows a clear pattern of abuse of campaign finance laws." Sloan continued, "on a disturbingly regular basis we learn that former House Majority Leader DeLay violated the law. From the Jack Abramoff scandal to the violations of Texas campaign finance laws, to Rep. DeLay's misuse of charitable organizations, the list seems endless. It is time for federal investigators to step in and undertake a thorough investigation of Rep. DeLay's financial dealings so that the public can learn the true extent of Rep. DeLay's illegal activities and he can be held accountable."