Politics is often full of corruption and other money-related issues. This affects both parties, of course, but it’s the Democrats who have been found guilty of certain violations.
This involves the Tennessee Democratic Party and a large six-figure settlement. It also highlights a lot of “misreported” money that didn’t go to the right places, and failure to report financial info.
The end result — the DNC has admitted its guilt.
Back in January, FEC commissioners voted unanimously that they had “reason to believe the Tennessee Democratic party” was in violation of the law.
That’s because the Party reportedly “failed to report total receipts and disbursements,” and also failed to “itemize receipts received via joint fundraising transfers.” Millions of dollars were in question in this investigation.
Interestingly, this probe was in regards to the 2016 election cycle.
We often see campaign money funneled in various directions during election cycles. But this time, the Democratic Party got caught, and it’s even more incriminating that they refused to provide the financial records.
And the numbers aren’t small, either. Via The Daily Wire:
The Democratic Party of Tennessee agreed to pay a six-figure fine to settle a Federal Election Commission case alleging that it misreported millions of dollars in campaign funds, according to new FEC documents.
The FEC said that ‘during the 2016 election cycle, the [Party] Committee failed to disclose receipts and disbursements totaling $2,739,911 on its original reports filed with the commission.’
There were also $1,509,766 in contributions the Party failed to itemize. And the Committee didn’t amend its report to reflect a gross $78,999 in fundraising efforts.
The FEC decided the Democrats were in violation across the board, and that means a big settlement.
This includes a fine in excess of $100,000 and those guilty will have to “undergo training.” However, some think this settlement isn’t an appropriate punishment, and the penalty should’ve been stiffer.
FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub wrote on August 27:
The negotiated agreement requires the Tennessee Democratic Party to pay a civil penalty of $103,000 for the $3,677,981 in misreported activity…
These extensive violations merited a higher penalty.
She added that the penalty in this case “deviates from and is below what the Commission would normally seek or accept.”
In this way, it seems like the Democrats got off too easy. Their Republican counterparts would probably agree, especially considering just how much money was improperly reported during the election cycle.
The other problem is that the fine and “training” likely won’t deter the DNC from just doing it again, as Weintraub noted.
Political corruption in regards to fundraising and contributions is nothing new. But when the consequences don’t really fit the crime, such issues will continue to be a stumbling block.
Even so, the fact that the FEC did find the Tennessee Democrats guilty of these violations might be a step in the right direction.
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