WASHINGTON - August 12 - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC), a PAC associated with Majority Leader Tom DeLay. CREW based its complaint on a report released late on August 10th by the Audit Division of the FEC. Although the Audit Division had already referred the report to the FEC’s General Counsel, CREW’s complaint ensures an investigation by the Enforcement Division.
In accordance with the findings of the Audit Division, CREW’s complaint alleges that ARMPAC violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) in three ways: 1) by materially misstating its financial activity in 2001 and 2002; 2) by failing to report debts owed to 25 vendors totaling $322,306; and 3) by improperly allocating expenses between its federal and non-federal accounts. The third allegation is the most significant because it means that ARMPAC may have illegally used soft money to finance its activities.
Also significantly, despite ARMPAC’s claims that payments made to consulting/fundraising vendors were solely for non-federal expenses, FEC Audit staff found that affidavits and contracts provided by ARMPAC showed just the contrary and that ARMPAC impermissibly used non-federal dollars – which may include soft money – to fund some of its fundraising operations. CREW has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FEC seeking the contracts and affidavits provided by ARMPAC to see if DeLay associates Jim Ellis, Warren Robold and John Colyandro submitted any information to the FEC regarding their fundraising activities – activities which may relate to the fundraising activities for which they have been indicted by a Texas grand jury.
Melanie Sloan, CREW’s Executive Director, said, “the FEC’s Audit Report clearly states that ARMPAC violated federal campaign finance law. The question now is what is the FEC going to do about it. Tom DeLay cannot continue to play fast and loose with the law. It is time for federal authorities and the House ethics committee to say that enough is enough. The FEC should impose significant fines on ARMPAC and the House ethics committee should investigate DeLay’s role in ARMPAC’s violations of campaign finance law.”