The Federal Election Commission (FEC) says the political arm of Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin has been fined for failing to report nearly $120,000 in expenditures to support Hillary Clinton in her failed presidential bid and Russ Feingold’s failed attempt to unseat Sen. Ron Johnson (R).
The FEC report states, “Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin Political Fund failed to file two 48-Hour Reports to support independent expenditures totaling $116,898.08 disclosed on the 2016 October Quarterly Report.”
As the Washington Free Beacon reports, “Planned Parenthood made the expenditure on Aug. 31, 2016, but did not publicly disclose the funds in support of the candidates until it had submitted its October quarterly report to the FEC on Oct. 11—almost two months after they were required to do so.”
“On September 25 and September 27, 2017, Reports Analysis Division (RAD) Management left voice mail messages for Mel Barnes, legal associate for Planned Parenthood,” the FEC report continues, noting that RAD asked for further information from Planned Parenthood regarding the discrepancies.
The Planned Parenthood political group spent $58,449.04 to promote Clinton’s bid and the same amount in support of Feingold.
“This error was due to a misunderstanding of the requirements by filing staff, who mistakenly believed 48-hour reports were not required unless expenditures were made within 20 days of the election,” Planned Parenthood said, according to the Free Beacon. “Staff has since been trained on all required reports and how to monitor aggregate amounts so that appropriate 48-hour reports will be made going forward, in addition to required 24-hour reports. Staff has created an internal memo on reporting so that any new staff filing reports will be appropriately trained before filing. This training has been added to a compliance checklist for election related processes.”
In a letter to Barnes, the FEC notes a negotiated penalty of $5,850 is due April 6 from the Planned Parenthood group.