July 10, 2018
On July 10, 2018, CREW filed a FOIA request with the FEC for any documents relating to the enforcement of its conciliation agreement with a Koch brothers-linked dark money group called the 60 Plus Association. The FOIA request follows a 2014 CREW complaint with the FEC against 60 Plus alleging that it violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). CREW alleged that 60 Plus knowingly and willfully failed to identify Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR) as a donor that made contributions to further the group’s political activity in 2010 House races.
Following the investigation, the FEC found reason to believe 60 Plus had in fact violated the FECA. The FEC then entered into a conciliation agreement requiring 60 Plus to, among other things, pay a civil penalty to the FEC in the amount of $50,000 within 90 days from the date of the agreement. The deadline has now passed for 60 Plus to fulfill the terms of the agreement, including payment of the $50,000 fine, and itapparently has no plans ever to pay back the amount in full. In a news report, 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin publicly confirmed that the group paid only $5,000 of the $50,000 fine and has “decided to contest” payment of the remainder of the fine “on the advice of counsel.”
60 Plus is a prime example of a group that flagrantly and publicly failed to abide by the terms of an agreement with the FEC. The requested records will further public understanding of the steps the FEC takes to enforce the terms of conciliation agreements.