The Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network were fined $285,000 by Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violating a host of election laws during Sharpton’s 2004 presidential campaign during which he received 2% of the Democratic primary vote.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed complaints against Sharpton in 2004 said it was notified of the FEC action last week.
“We are pleased that the FEC has ruled on our complaint and found that Sharpton ran an ‘off the books’ presidential campaign,” said NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm.
Previously, the FEC ordered Sharpton to return $100,000 in taxpayer matching funds, and denied him an additional $79,000 for which he qualified, for the 2004 campaign, according to the NLPC.
In a decision to be made public next month, the New York Post says the FEC found that Sharpton’s Democratic primary campaign accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from private sources. The campaign also “kept poor records of its activities and expenditures” and commingled funds with Sharpton’s civil-rights group, says the Post. What he did is prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act.
The Post said Sharpton and former campaign manager Andrew River signed an agreement with the FEC to pay the fine.
“Rev Sharpton is gratified that after full review of the record, the FEC significantly reduced the original fine and stated in the agreement that there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing by National Action Network or the campaign,” said Rachel Noerdlinger, a Sharpton spokeswoman told the Post. The fine was originally $500,000.
Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com