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Va. Democratic Party Hit With Fine

Rosalind Helderman

The Democratic Party of Virginia has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission, related to deficiencies in the party's financial disclosure forms dating to 2006.

The FEC reports that they found problems with DPV's financial disclosure forms through routine reviews of their filings. The FEC said it sent DPV 31 different requests for additional information related to its 2006 filings, of which the party failed to respond, responded inadequately or responded late to 16. Problems included mathematical discrepancies and some excessive or impermissible contributions.

According to the settlement agreement which you can read here, DPV acknowledged it had reporting problems in the past but said it had hired more experienced staff and rectified problems. They also agreed to hire a compliance specialist and attend an FEC conference.

Leigh Anne Collier, who took over as the party's interim director just last week, says the party has paid the fine, which was due June 28, and overhauled its process for complying with FEC guidelines. That included bringing on a new accounting firm and other new staff.

"We wanted to put all of this behind us," she said. "We have paid the fine and have completely revamped our system, and we're happy with the system we've put in place."

You can read all the documents related to this issue here.

Such settlements only become public at the end of a rather lengthy period of negotiations with the FEC. The fine is low, but it's altogether bad timing for DPV, which is gearing up now to support the Creigh Deeds campaign for governor.

To wit, Republican Party of Virginia spokesman Tim Murtaugh offers this response: "Without having looked into it fully, it sounds significant and particularly negligent and cheating is never allowed."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 30, 2009; 4:48 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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