President Obama’s 2008 Campaign Fined $375K By FEC

The Federal Election Commission has fined President Obama’s 2008 campaign $375,000 for campaign reporting violations.

The FEC performed an audit of the campaign in April 2012 and found that Obama for America didn’t file mandatory notices for 1,312 contributions totaling $1,972,266 received just before the 2008 presidential election. A special notice for contributions of $1,000 or more must be filed less than 20 days but more than 48 hours before any election in which the candidate is running, according to the FEC’s audit.

The FEC details the fine in documents that have not yet been released to the public. Politico, however, was able to obtain the conciliation agreement that detailed the fine. The agreement was sent to Sean Cairncross, the chief lawyer for the Republican National Committee, which was one of the groups that filed complaints about Obama’s 2008 campaign filings.

Republican election lawyer Jason Torchinsky said the fine was in the top five or ten largest imposed on a presidential election campaign.

However, Torchinsky said, “They’re also the first billion-dollar presidential campaign. Proportionally, it’s not out of line.”

Besides being the first billion dollar campaign, with John McCain spending $335 million and President Obama spending $639 million, the campaign was historic in a very different way. It was the first time a presidential candidate placed ads in a video game. As we reported way back in 2008, ads for President Obama’s campaign appeared in Burnout Paradise for the Xbox 360.

Sources told Politico that the fine has been paid, and that $230,000 came from the Obama campaign’s coffers while the remaining $145,000 came from the Democratic National Committee.

Former FEC commissioner Michael Toner said the infractions found in the audit were relatively minor given the scope of the campaign.