WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., signed an agreement with the Federal Election Commission where he agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty in the wake of his asking for a campaign donation in 2012 above the $5,000 federal limit.
This case has nothing to do with federal prosecutors based in Springfield, Illinois, probing Schock’s spending from his House and political funds. That inquiry has been ongoing for more than a year. Shock resigned from Congress in March 2015.
Back in 2012, two Illinois Republican House members — Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo — were facing off in what turned out to be a hard-fought primary. The two GOP incumbents were thrown into a single district after Illinois was redistricted after the 2010 census.
Schock sided with Kinzinger and was helping to raise money for a super PAC running ads to boost Kinzinger, who went on to win the election.
On March 14, 2012, just before the Illinois primary, Schock solicited a donation from former Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., for $25,000.
The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 — both watchdog groups — filed a complaint with the FEC on April 12, 2012.
“It’s not everyday that the current FEC actually enforces campaign finance laws,” said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center. “But in this case, even the FEC agreed that Schock crossed the line, though it is absurd that it took the FEC more than four years to resolve a straightforward violation.”
What the FEC calls a “conciliation agreement,” signed by a Schock attorney last September, is not part of the public record yet. The agreement was released by the Campaign Legal Center.
The agreement said that Schock’s violation of the contribution limits in this situation was not “knowing or willful.”