Freddie Mac hit with $3.8 million FEC fine

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known as Freddie Mac, has agreed to pay a $3.8 million fine to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to settle allegations that it violated campaign finance laws. The fine is the largest collected by the FEC, the commission said in a news release.

The FEC alleged that Freddie Mac used corporate resources between 2000 and 2003 to facilitate 85 fundraising events that raised approximately $1.7 million for federal candidates. FEC regulations prohibit unions or corporations from making or facilitating campaign contributions.

The FEC news release says the fundraisers were organized by R. Mitchell Delk, who was then Freddie Mac’s senior vice president of government relations, and Clark Camper, who was Freddie’s vice president at the time.

The fundraisers benefited members of the House Financial Services Committee and other members of Congress. Freddie paid consulting firms to organize the fundraisers, often held at Galileo restaurant, as much as $25,000 a month by the end of 2002, according to the FEC.

Delk had described the fundraisers as an organized effort to manage political risk to counter other corporations, which have political action committees “to buttress their lobbying activities,” according to the FEC news release.

As part of the plea deal, Freddie Mac only acknowledged that it violated campaign-finance rules by contributing $150,000 to the Republican Governors Association in October 2002.

The group later returned the donation.

The FEC has decided not to take action against the governors group, the Republican National Committee or Galileo.