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DeLay fundraising group settles FEC campaign finance case

[JURIST] Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC) [Wikipedia backgrounder], a political committee set up by former House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) [JURIST news archive], has agreed to shut down and pay a fine [press release] for improperly reporting financial activity. ARMPAC agreed [conciliation agreement, PDF] to the $115,000 penalty, imposed by the US Federal Election Commission [official website], late Wednesday after an FEC audit [complaint, PDF; case summary] of ARMPAC records revealed that ARMPAC raised and spent close to $250,000 in 2001 and 2002 without accurately dividing fundraising expenses for federal and nonfederal campaigns and without accurately reporting all outstanding debts.

Officials representing ARMPAC, which was in the process of shutting down before the FEC settlement agreement, told the FEC that they have corrected their financial reports. Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility [advocacy website] originally prompted the FEC to begin an investigation [press release] into ARMPAC last year, and said that the settlement indicated a pattern of campaign finance abuse [press release] that called for an in-depth investigation. Last September, former ARMPAC head Jim Ellis was indicted [JURIST report] with DeLay and the head of another political action committee for violating Texas election law. Reuters has more. The Houston Chronicle has local coverage.

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