FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 19
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Al Sharpton and his group,
the National Action Network (NAN), have been fined $285,000
by the 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.
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), which filed
Complaints against Sharpton on February 2, 2004 and February
6, 2004, was notified of the FEC action last week and made it
public today. NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm
reacted by saying, "We are pleased that the FEC has ruled on our
Complaint and found that Sharpton ran an 'off the books' presidential
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.
Also previously, Sharpton was fined $5,500
for late filing of disclosure documents reports as a result of a
separate Complaint filed by NLPC on April 18, 2003.
The February 2, 2004 Complaint cited
Sharpton may have visited over 100 cities related to his presidential
campaign in 2002 and 2003. This extensive political travel was not
reflected anywhere in Sharpton's FEC filings. NLPC alleged that NAN
might have underwritten this travel with large undisclosed gifts from
The $285,000 fine is actually a civil
penalty under a
conciliation agreement between Sharpton and his groups and the FEC.
According to the agreement:
...Sharpton 2004 kept poor records of its activities and
expenditures, which often resulted in NAN or other entities paying
for travel expenses incurred by the campaign.
It was the practice to charge all travel expenses to Sharpton's
American Express charge card. The card was then paid using multiple
accounts owned by Sharpton, NAN and/or the Committee.
The agreement describes $509,188 in
campaign-related expenses on Sharpton's American Express card. His
campaign committee paid $121,996, leaving $387,192
in illegal payments from other sources, including $65,000
from "unknown sources."
The FEC also found that fast food mogul named La-Van
Hawkins, who is
now incarcerated, made excessive in-kind contributions to Sharpton by
hosting a fundraiser at his Atlanta home in 2003.
To download pdfs of the conciliation agreement and
NLPC's Complaints, go to www.nlpc.org.
NLPC promotes ethics in public life, and sponsors the
Government Integrity Project.