The NRSC did not file three disclosure reports that would have detailed seven different expenditures totaling nearly $290,000.
“The Reports Analysis Division (RAD) referred Respondents for failing to file three (3) required 48-Hour Reports. Respondents filed the Committee’s 2012 October Monthly Report on October 19,2012 which included a Schedule E disclosing fifty-six (56) independent expenditures. The Committee failed to file three (3) required 48-Hour Reports to support seven (7) independent expenditures totaling $289,213.65.”
What FEC rules say: Political committees are required to report within 48 hours expenditures of $10,000 or more “at any time up to and including the 20th day before the date of an election.”
“A person, including a political committee, that makes or contracts to make
independent expenditures aggregating $10,000 or more at any time up to and including the 20th day before the date of an election shall file a report describing the expenditures within 48 hours. After a person files an initial report under this subsection, the person shall file an additional report within 48 hours after each time the person makes or contracts to make independent expenditures aggregating an additional $10,000 with respect to the same election as that to which the initial report relates.”
According to the documents, the violation was found when the FEC was doing routine supervision.
“This matter was initiated by the Federal Election Commission (Commission) pursuant to information ascertained in the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities.”
The NRSC made more than $43 million in expenditures in 2012 when the infraction occurred and the unreported numbers were less than a percentage point of all expenditures for the cycle.
The unreported expenditures, which were from September, were eventually disclosed on the NRSC’s October 2012 monthly report filed prior to the general election.
According to the FEC documents there are a number of punishments for the NRSC:
The deal states the NRSC must:
1. Pay a fine of $14,500.
2. Develop an internal review for all of its independent expenditures.
3. Have an independent expenditure specialist whose job is to review all of the NRSC’s digital expenditures.
Here’s the text of the penalty from the FEC document:
“Respondents, in an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, agree to: (a) develop and certify implementation of an internal review process for all independent expenditures that will take place before releasing funds for payment within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this agreement; (b) certify the designation of an Independent Expenditure Specialist to review all digital independent expenditures within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this agreement; and © pay a civil penalty of $14,500 within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this agreement.”
The NRSC says it is “glad” the matter has been resolved.
“This matter is from a previous cycle that has been resolved through a collaborative process with the FEC. We are glad that this matter from several years ago has been resolved appropriately.”