Clinton Fundraisers Are Fined $35,000

Associated Press
Friday, January 6, 2006

A campaign fundraising group for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has agreed to a $35,000 fine for underreporting hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on a Hollywood fundraiser in 2000.

The organization, New York Senate 2000, agreed to a federal finding that it failed to report $721,895 spent on the fundraiser to boost the former first lady's campaign for the Senate, according to paperwork provided by Peter F. Paul, who helped finance the star-studded gala that drew Cher, Diana Ross, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

The Federal Election Commission provided a copy of the signed agreement yesterday.

New York Senate 2000 lawyer Marc Elias said the agreement ends the investigation and includes a letter from the FEC stating that Clinton did not violate the law.

"It's a kind of vindication, but this is only one battle," said Paul, who bankrolled the gala and is suing Sen. Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton, contending he was led to believe the former president would later work for him in a private business venture.

As part of the agreement, New York Senate 2000 maintains it "implemented and enforced reasonable processes to collect and report information regarding event expenses," the document said.

The Hollywood fundraiser was the subject of a criminal trial of Clinton's former national finance director, David F. Rosen. Rosen was acquitted in May 2004 of lying to the FEC about the event.

Paul has contended the event cost more than $1.9 million, though campaign reports at the time put it at about $500,000. As part of the agreement, the cost is put at $1.2 million, with almost $400,000 listed as unreported for the cost of producing the concert and nearly $100,000 unreported for travel and lodging.

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