Record fines

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion col­lected civil penal­ties to­tal­ing more than $2.2 mil­lion dur­ing the first six months of 2007, the sec­ond­largest half-year to­tal of any year in FEC his­tory.

In one case, the FEC col­lected a $750,000 penalty from the con­ser­va­tive Progress for Amer­ica (PFA) Voter Fund, the third-largest penalty in the com­mis­sion’s his­tory. Un­der the terms of the set­tle­ment, the PFA did not ad­mit to any wrong­do­ing, but said it agrees “to reg­is­ter as a po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tee if it un­der­takes any ac­tiv­i­ties sim­i­lar to those in 2004.”

It was in 2004, at a re­ported cost of $14 mil­lion, that the PFA pro­duced and aired the highly emo­tional “Ash­ley’s Story,” a cam­paign ad that was tele­vised 30,000 times in the four weeks lead­ing up the 2004 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. It showed Pres­i­dent Bush hug­ging 15-year-old Ash­ley Faulkner, who lost her mother in the Septem­ber 11, 2001, ter­ror at­tacks.

More re­cently, the PFA pro­duced pro-Iraq-War ads, call­ing the con­flict es­sen­tial to fight­ing ter­ror­ism.

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