Barbour-backed PAC agreed to pay $19,000 fine within 30 days over a year ago.
A report on FEC violations references a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Federal Election Commission and U.S. Treasury records since 2000 showing that 160 political committees and similar groups together owe the government more than $1.3 million worth of unpaid fines.
Some political committees say they will pay their months- or years-old fines.
They just won’t say when.
One such committee is Mississippi Conservatives. A gaggle of prominent political players — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Facebook President Sean Parker, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce among them — bankrolled this super PAC, which spent about $3.3 million during 2014 to help Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., survive a GOP primary challenge from upstart conservative Chris McDaniel.
But the pro-McDaniel Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund had in mid-2014 filed a complaint with the FEC alleging Mississippi Conservatives failed to disclose the true identity of a donor. The FEC ultimately concurred — in October 2016 — and Mississippi Conservatives settled the case by agreeing to pay a $19,000 fine within 30 days.
Except it never did.
“The super PAC intends to pay the fine,” Henry Barbour, Haley Barbour’s nephew and current treasurer of Mississippi Conservatives was quoted as saying. “However, the fact that the federal government waited almost two years to assert their position pertaining to 2014 disclosures makes this a bit more challenging on top of the fact that we never anticipated any fine. That said, it is what it is and we will have to convince some donors to help us put this to rest.”
Mississippi Conservatives reported having less than $1,500 cash on hand as of June 30.
However, the PAC had no problem attracting money during the 2014 race, raising several hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last few weeks of the 2014 campaign. A large part of this money was spent to fund race-baiting ads and robo-calls attacking Senator Chris McDaniel with the ridiculous claim that he intended to ‘take away’ the rights of African Americans.