It happened. Obama was held accountable for something. It’s not much, but it’s something.
President Obama’s 2008 campaign was fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for campaign reporting violations — one of the largest fees ever levied against a presidential campaign, POLITICO has learned.
The fine — laid out in detail in FEC documents that have yet to be made public — arose from an audit of the campaign, which was published in April. POLITICO obtained a copy of the conciliation agreement detailing the fine, which was sent to Sean Cairncross, the chief lawyer for the Republican National Committee, one of the groups that filed complaints about the campaign’s FEC reporting from 2008.
“$375,000 is a huge fine,” said Republican election lawyer Jason Torchinsky. “It may one of their top five- or ten-largest fines.”
But he added, “They’re also the first billion-dollar presidential campaign. Proportionally, it’s not out of line.
The major sticking point for the FEC appeared to be a series of missing 48-hour notices for nearly 1,300 contributions totaling more than $1.8 million — an issue that lawyers familiar with the commission’s work say the FEC takes seriously. The notices must be filed on contributions of $1,000 or more that are received within the 20-day window of Election Day.
More than half of those contributions were transferred from the Obama Victory Fund,a joint committee between the campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Sources said the fine resulting from the settlement agreement has been paid, with $230,000 coming from the Obama campaign’s coffers and the remainder from the DNC.
The document outlined other violations, such as erroneous contribution dates on some campaign reports. The Obama campaign was also late returning some contributions that exceeded the legal limit.