Obama Senate Opponent Empower Illinois Agrees To Pay FEC $3,000

The Federal Election Commission announced Wednesday a finding (MUR 5568) that “the Empower Illinois Media Fund (EIMF) violated the Federal Election Campaign by failing to register with the FEC as a political committee and file disclosure reports.”

The committee supported Alan Keyes in his U.S. Senatorial campaign against Barack Obama.

According the decision’s summary, “The FEC determined that EIMF’s fundraising communications made clear to potential donors that any funds received would be used to influence the 2004 Senate race in Illinois by conducting a media campaign targeting Barack Obama. EIMF spent about $83,000 during the 2004 election cycle, with more than $75,000 devoted to production and placement of radio and television ads opposing Obama’s candidacy.

“The Federal Election Campaign Act states that an organization that makes expenditures, or receives contributions,in excess of $1,000 must register with the Commission as a political committee and file regular financial disclosure reports. The Act prohibits political committees from receiving contributions from corporations or labor organizations and limits contributions from individuals to no more than $5,000 per year.

“EIMF accepted approximately $70,000 in contributions in amounts exceeding $5,000 per individual. EIMF signed a conciliation agreement and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3,000.”

The FEC reports the respondents in the case were

1. Empower Illinois
2. Empower Illinois Media Fund
3. Jeffrey D. Davis
4. Alan L. Keyes
5. Keyes 2004, Inc. and Eugene T. Carter in his official capacity as treasurer
6. Jack Roeser

Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington was the complainant.

I couldn’t find anything else on the FEC web site, but Politico had this on the 527 group.

Noted in the August 17th article is the following:

”Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, MoveOn.org and the League of Conservation Voters late last year agreed to pay nearly $630,000 to settle charges they skirted campaign finance rules during the 2004 elections.”

There was this additional information. It identified Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics as

“a left-leaning watchdog group, (which) complained to the FEC that Empower Illinois was skirting campaign finance rules, partly by coordinating its attacks with the Keyes campaign through Davis and Jack Roeser, a wealthy donor.

”Roeser, an Illinois high-tech business owner who pledged to raise $1 million for Keyes’ campaign, contributed $40,000 to Empower Illinois and a related group and also met with Keyes to discuss his campaign.

“But the FEC said he wasn’t complicit in Empower Illinois violations.”

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