Washington Two Republican Party political committees in Kansas have agreed to pay penalties totaling $1,500 for violations of federal election laws stemming from a 1988 fund-raiser.
The Douglas County Republican Central Committee will pay a $1,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission, and the 2nd District Republican Committee will pay a $500 penalty, according to commission documents.
The penalties were part of conciliation agreements voluntarily entered into by the GOP committees with the commission to resolve the case. A routine FEC review of campaign finance documents discovered the violations.
The FEC publicly released documents in the case earlier this month.
SPECIFICALLY, the FEC found:
The Douglas County GOP Central Committee violated federal law when it transferred $6,223 to the 2nd District Committee in July 1988 because some of the monies were from corporations. Federal law prohibits the use of corporate or labor union monies in connection with federal elections. The FEC estimated $1,425 in prohibited funds were transferred into the 2nd District Committee's account.
The 2nd District Committee is a federal political committee registered with the FEC.
Federal law defines a political committee as one that raises or spends more than a $1,000 a year. The Douglas County committee, by transferring more than a $1,000 to the district committee, violated federal law because it was not registered with the commission.
The 2nd District GOP Committee violated federal law by accepting the prohibited corporate contributions from the county committee. The district committee deposited the monies into its federal account and reported them as a contribution in one of its federal campaign finance reports. The district committee told the FEC it has established a state account to avoid similar problems in the future.
IN ADDITION to paying the penalty to the FEC, the district committee must refund the $1,425 to the county committee under terms of the conciliation agreement.
All of the money was collected at a fund-raiser organized by the county committee. The fund-raiser was a golf tournament, called the Fletcher Bell Golf Tournament. Bell, who lives in Lawrence, is the Kansas insurance commissioner who sponsored the event on behalf of the local GOP group.
Individuals and corporations, including a number of insurance companies, made donations as entry fees, ranging from $25 to $1,000. The Douglas County GOP Committee, after paying expenses, split the proceeds with the 2nd District Committee.
The conciliation agreements were signed by local GOP officials last July and August, but the case was not made public by the FEC until this month. The agency, which is responsible for administering federal election law, has a policy of keeping its investigations confidential until they are resolved.