Soros group gets $775,000 fine
America Coming Together just got hit with a $775,000 fine by the FEC. It was one of those astroturf groups, supposedly a popular movement, in reality funded by George Soros and others, and financed at over a hundred million bucks.
All I can find at the FEC website is a pdf of the complaint. It was filed in 2004, and asked the FEC to dismiss it so a lawsuit could be filed to enforce it, pointing out that the election would likely occur before FEC could decide the issue. I gather FEC didn't dismiss it -- and so the decision comes three years after the election. Showing about how much good the system is. A few tidbits are in extended remarks below.
Hat tip to Bill Taggart....
"Donors have ‘also admitted that they were solicited and gave soft money contributions illegal
under the Act for the express purpose of defeating President Bush and influencing a federal election.
Billionaire financier George Soros, who at the time had pledged $12.5 million to shadow soft money
organizations, has long championed an “open society” and reduced penalties for illegal
possession. He has made no secret that his sole purpose in contributing is to defeat the President in
the tpcoming federal election, telling the Washington Post he would spend his entire $7 billion
fortune to defeat President Bush “if someone guaranteed” the outcome.” Soros also wrote: “I and
a number of other wealthy Americans are contributing dons of dollars. to grass-roots
organizations engaged in the 2004 presidential election [ACT and MoveOn.org). We are deeply
concerned with the direction in which the Bush Administration is taking the United States and the
~~r l d. ~’ ~~ In Soros’ own words, donors were giving illegal soft money contributions with the
expressed purpose of defeating federal candidate - a clear cut violation of the Act. "
"Faced with a new campaign finance law they feared put them at a disadvantage, veterans of
Democratic presidential and congressiona!campaigns, including that of John Kerry’s, have created a
network of illegal soft money organizationsi)&hose actions are *designed to improperly influence
Funded by wealthy individuals and special interest groups who all wish to affect government
policies for their favored agendas, this network of 28 organizations has constructed an elaborate
scheme to allow the unprecedented flow of illegal soft money to impact’the 2004 Presidential and
other federal elections."
"Several other section 527 committees are coordinating their illegal soft money activities as
part of the shadow Democratic soft money slush fund.
MoveOn.org This organization, which has a federal committee registered with the FEC, illegally used its non-federal account to pay for extensive ad buys.... Estimates of the amount of time actually bought vary, but appear to about $10 million, including a recent nationwide buy coordinated with simultaneous buys by the Kerry campaign."