SA: …State Democrats are bracing for what is expected to be the largest fine ever imposed on the Hawaii party by the Federal Elections Commission for a series of alleged violations of federal campaign regulations during the 2012 election cycle.
Party officials declined to discuss details of the case because it is ongoing, but a source familiar with the FEC investigation said the alleged violations center on technical bookkeeping and money-handling errors (maneuvers) as the party supported Democratic candidates during its coordinated campaign in 2012.
The Hawaii Democrats’ coordinated campaigns are launched during most election cycles to raise and pool money (from the usual special interests), which is then distributed to support party candidates in targeted races (to maintain the one-party system).
Federal fines in the ongoing case are expected to amount to tens of thousands of dollars, and one observer said the total might reach as high as the “low six figures.”
Newly elected Hawaii party Chairman Tim Vandeveer said party officials have been aware for “quite some time” that a large fine was pending, (translation: We’ve been keepin this secret, but now we are doing a pre-release so you won’t react much when the news hits.) and had been given a “ballpark figure” of how much the fine is likely to be. The FEC has fined the party for missteps (conscious violations) in the past, but “not anything nearly this size,” he said….
The Hawaii party has been fined in the past for failing to comply with federal requirements, including a $22,000 fine that was imposed for errors (violations) in the 2002 election cycle.
Party leadership was also reportedly slow to respond to FEC inquiries about problems in the 2012 cycle, and that history could be prompting federal authorities to contemplate larger fines for the alleged violations, according to officials familiar with the FEC inquiry.
Dante Carpenter, who was party chairman in 2012, did not respond to a request for comment about the case. (Lets all blame Dante. He’s finished anyway.)
FEC documents show the agency has fined the party repeatedly over lapses in campaign funding and reporting….