The Federal Election Commission has fined Sen. Joe Liebermans (ID-Conn.) campaign committee $50,000 for improperly paying canvassers during his 2006 race against net-roots star Ned Lamont (D).
The agencys six-member bipartisan commission has ruled that Liebermans campaign improperly used cash to pay some campaign workers. Under federal election laws, political campaigns must use checks when paying workers who are owed more than $100.
The FEC reached the plea deal with Liebermans campaign in February. The terms of the agreement were released publicly by the agency on Friday.
Liebermans campaign withdrew very large amounts of cash from its bank account on 14 separate occasions and gave the money to campaign consultants and volunteers who put cash in envelopes that were disbursed to canvassers, frequently in amounts well in excess of $100, agency lawyers wrote. Of the $344,496 paid to canvassers, the committee made at least 600 payments, totaling $121,965, which exceeded the petty cash limit of $100 per person.
After losing to Lamont in the Nutmeg States 2006 Democratic primary, Lieberman ran in the general election as an independent, winning that November with 50 percent of the vote.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.