Texas This I Know...

Texas This I Know...
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Fined $21,000 by FEC

"Pelosi PAC fined $21,000 by federal elections officials

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fund-raising committee run by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was fined $21,000 for improperly accepting donations over federal limits, according to records and interviews.

The political action committee, Team Majority, was one of two PACs Pelosi used to fund candidates during the 2002 campaign. She stopped raising and donating money through the committee more than a year ago, after complaints that she was improperly using the multiple PACs to exceed limits.

The fine, which was paid in October 2003, was reported in Team Majority's year-end campaign finance records, released this month. The case is still open and the Federal Election Commission declined comment, but Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said that the fine was connected to donations made to more than two dozen candidates from both of Pelosi's so-called leadership PACs — Team Majority and PAC to the Future — that together exceeded federal limits.

"We checked with the FEC, we thought this was OK, when we found out it wasn't we did everything aboveboard and we've been complying with them," Daly said.

Daly said Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat and leading advocate of campaign finance reform, would dissolve Team Majority after the FEC case was concluded. Two Democrats — Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Julie Thomas, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Iowa — have been fined $2,500 each in connection with donations received from the committee. The agency was still negotiating with a third congressional committee before closing the case, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal law dictates that if multiple PACs are under the control of the same person, they're considered affiliated and must adhere to limits as if they were one. Federal law limits PAC contributions to candidates to $5,000 per election. Donors to PACs can give $5,000 annually.

In the 2002 election cycle, Pelosi gave more than two dozen candidates the $5,000 maximum contribution from Team Majority as well as PAC to the Future, which is her main leadership PAC — thereby exceeding contribution limits.

Team Majority gave back more than $100,000 that was collected in excess of limits, records show. But it also collected more than $140,000 that Daly said was within the proper limits. That money was spent last year to support Pelosi's fund-raising activities — including money for salaries, legal fees and phone services, and $2,176 to entertain donors at a box at the Simon and Garfunkel Concert at the MCI Center in December, records show."

Let watch and see if this story gets amplified and repeated over and over like the hit pieces on Tom Delay.

Warning: Don't hold your breath.


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