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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Democratic organization, 527 Group Agrees to pay $775,000 for Violating Campaign Finance Laws

Surprise, surprise.. the group has ties to the Clinton's and to George Soros.

Hillary isn't having a good couple of days now is she, right on the heels of the latest controversy, found here, we now have the 527 Group, America Coming Together, financed by George Soros and labor organizations that sunk more than $100 million into campaign activities intended to help Democrats in the 2004 elections.

The group, whose president was former top Clinton aide Harold Ickes, agreed to pay the penalty without acknowledging any violations. It had registered as both a 527 organization, named after a portion of the I.R.S. tax code, and as a federal political action committee. But through its 527, it had raised and spent large amounts of money that did not fall under strict federal donation limits.

Critics of 527 groups have contended that they proliferated in the last cycle through a loophole around the ban on soft money — unregulated money — that was imposed under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance laws. Democrats used 527’s to a wide advantage in the 2004 election cycle, with contributions from the likes of billionaire George Soros. Republicans also used them, with major donors like Bob Perry of Texas.

In recent months, the Federal Election Commission has begun a crackdown on these groups, especially if their activities in using unregulated, or soft money were specifically geared toward the election or defeat of specific candidates. In earlier actions, an arm of Progress for America agreed to pay a sizable penalty of $750,000 for operating outside the rules in the 2004 election, and agreements were reached with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and a now-defunct arm of

We see from The Trail that this is the FEC's third largest penalty in it's three decade history.

The complaint against ACT was brought by Democracy 21, a non partisan campaign finance reform group. In a statement yesterday, the group's president, Fred Wertheimer welcomed the decision, but suggested that the fine was too little too late -- not nearly large enough to deter independent groups from engaging in "huge illegal expenditures ... in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections for the third federal election in a row."

"The amount of the penalty imposed against ACT in this case represents only a tiny fraction of the nearly $100 million that the FEC found ACT illegally spent to influence the 2004 election," Wertheimer's statement said.

A little bit about George Soros:

The December 1, 2003, USA Today quoted Soros's worth at "about $7 billion," of which Soros had pledged "$15.5 million to anti-Bush, anti-conservative groups ... giving $10 million to Americans Coming Together, $2.5 million to, and $3 million to the Center for American Progress."

One has to wonder about those other organizations Soros has contributed to.

More from Politico.

FEC Statement.

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The Right Doesn't Make Scandals Like the Old Hat L from DeMediacratic Nation...