CREW Wins Again
Another day, another victory for CREW, this time in Maryland, where the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has smacked a big time developer with a $55,000 fine after we caught him in a conduit contribution scheme.
This situation first came across our radar in 2009 when Mr. Edward St. John and his employees made more than $60,000 in illegal contributions to the Maryland Republican State Central Committee. Mr. St. John reimbursed his employees for their contributions using money from his company, St. John Properties, Inc. He camouflaged the payouts as “year-end bonuses.”
Mr. St. John paid more than $100,000 in penalties for illegal state campaign contributions, but only now he has been held accountable for contributions made in connection with the 2006 federal election.
It is disappointing the FEC didn’t find Mr. St. John’s violations were knowing and willful (and therefore criminal), given that even the FEC calls him “an experienced political contributor” who made over $150,000 in contributions to federal candidates and committees between 2000 and 2006. Still, $55,000 is nothing to sneeze at.
When you combine this latest win with the $170,000 fine the FEC slapped against the Republican Party of Minnesota earlier this month, that adds up to almost a quarter of a million dollars in fines handed out in August as a result of CREW actions.
Who says August is quiet?