Planned Parenthood’s political arm in Wisconsin has been fined for failing to appropriately report nearly $120,000 in independent expenditures allocated in support of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold during 2016 elections.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) found discrepancies in Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin’s October 2016 report that claimed over $133,000 worth of expenditures on political candidates, an FEC report said.
Nearly $120,000 spent in August on Clinton and Democrat Feingold — who tried but failed to unseat Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in 2016 — were never shown in any previous 48-hour filing up until the October report, two months later when it was required.
The Planned Parenthood group reportedly spent $58,449.04 in support for Clinton and as much in support of Feingold.
The group will have to pay a $5,850 fine for the wrongdoing, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Nationwide, Planned Parenthood’s political arm went all-out for Clinton and other Democrats during the presidential election and Senate races in targeted states, spending $30 million in an effort to mobilize voters to support Democrats in 2016, the New York Times reported.
The Wisconsin-based group denied it purposely incorrectly submitted the filings, blaming the error on its filing staff that misunderstood the requirements set out by the FEC.
“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,” the group wrote to the FEC in August 2017.
“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,” it added.