The Arizona Republican Party violated federal campaign finance law during President Bush’s re-election bid in 2004, according to a ruling last month.
The Federal Elections Commission ruled Sept. 20 that the state Republican Party failed to report more than $40,000 spent on telemarketing during the 2004 election. The GOP was fined $2,300.
Garrick Taylor, a state party spokesman, said nearly all of the staff that worked at the state Republican headquarters during the 2004 Bush campaign have left the organization.
Kirk Adams, the state party’s treasurer, said the ruling was not contested because it would have been more expensive to fight it in court, rather than to pay the fine.
According to the FEC ruling, the Arizona party paid $41,626.63 for a Minnesotabased telemarketing company to distribute a prerecorded message calling for Bush’s re-election and the election of Republican candidates.
The party failed to report the independent expenditure — a term for money spent to support a candidate without any coordination with that candidate’s campaign.
During the 2004 election, independent expenditures were also made by activist groups such as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which opposed presidential candidate John Kerry, and MoveOn. org, which urged voters to replace Republican incumbents with candidates from another party.
The groups were required to report their expenditures to the FEC.