Dem FEC Commissioners Reject Fine of Pro-Gingrich Super PAC Because It Was Too Low

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On January 30,2014, we voted to reject a conciliation agreement with Winning Our Future, a super PAC active during the 2012 presidential election.’ Winning Our Future failed tod isclose more than $1.6 million dollars in political advertisements—reporting the spending only afier the relevant election was over.^ This is a serious violation; Winning Our Future, a highly active political participant that raised over $24 million during the 2012 election, denied the public access to information about at least seventeen communications at the very time that voters needed to be most informed about the source of political messages. Nonetheless, the proposed conciliation agreement would have imposed an extremely low civil penalty.^ We could not accept this agreement, which we believe would have served as merely a slap on the wrist more appropriate for a minor violation. The proposed penalty was not sufficient to vindicate the vital interest in disclosure set forth in the Act. As the Supreme Court has affirmed, the law’s disclosure requirements are essential to “provid[e] the electorate with information and insure that the voters are fully informed about the person or group who is speaking.”* Consequently, we voted to direct our Office of General Counsel to negotiate a new conciliation agreement with a higher civil penalty.^ That vote failed, 3-2.

So now I take it that the group won’t be fined at all.

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