Thursday, May 05, 2005

State GOP Sets Record! (For Biggest FEC Fine)

By Mark Moore (click 'comments' below for the article).


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

The Morning News has reported that the Federal Elections Commission has reached a deal with the Republican Party of Arkansas.

Under the agreement, the party will pay a $360,000 fine, the largest ever assessed on a state party. The fine more than doubled the previous record for a state party. The party also agreed to pay for independent audits for the next five years.

The party received over $11,000 from sources that are illegal under Federal Law. It took in another $28,000 from individuals that had already given the legally allowable maximum.

The party also misused money donated for local elections on Federal Elections. Most damaging, a significant proportion of its contributions and spending remains unaccounted for.

The Morning News phrased the findings in such a way as to soft-pedal them, but a reliable source has told Arkansas Watch that the problems were endemic and serious. "five figure debits from the account had NO BACKUP (documentation as to where the money went)." the source said. They added, " On your bank statement it will say Deposit or Debit. These multitude of debits had no backup. If they had been wire transfers it would have said so. "

The source noted that the undocumented debits "had the same effect as a check for cash - but at least then there would have been some kind of document.."

There is no record of where that money went. In other cases it is known who got the money (mostly well-connected GOP insiders), but there is no record of what, if anything, the money was used for. The total of the missing or mispent money could be as high as $1.7 million!

Republican Party Chairman State Senator Glibert Baker of Conway emphasizes that serious steps have been taking to get the Republican house in order. "There's no doubt the party messed up" Baker is quoted as saying, "I'm just glad we had those drastic measures to get our finances in order in 2004."

It remains to be seen how "in order" those finances are. The money to pay the fines is not in hand. There will be a series of payouts made over the next year.

To see the whole report, go to and look up case number 5428.

8:02 PM, May 05, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

(repost of comments from original thread)

Mr. Toast said...
Sounds like a penny given to the Arkansas Republican Party is a penny wasted on paying down their fines. Third party conservatives are looking better and better.

One thing's for sure-- my financial support for candidates won't be funneled through the hands of their Party.

6:02 PM
Anonymous said...
Interesting that the story also points out that Winthrop Rockefeller was one of the ones who overcontributed, which was one of the reasons the party was fined.

7:54 PM
MJ said...
And how many conservatives will justify their continued loyalty to the Republicans with, "Well, they're still not as bad as the Democrats"?

How bad does the GOP have to get before it's time to move your vote elsewhere?

8:03 PM, May 05, 2005  

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