FEC Fines Terri Schiavo’s Ex-Husband’s Political Action Committee Again

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

FEC Fines Terri Schiavo’s Ex-Husband’s Political Action Committee Again Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 7,

Coral Gables, FL (LifeNews.com) — The Federal Election Commission gave Michael Schiavo’s political action committee a parting gift with another fine for failing to file thorough financial reports. The fine concerned an older financial report that Schiavo’s TerriPAC should have filed properly before he closed up shop in September.

Michael created the group to go after pro-life lawmakers who opposed his efforts to subject Terri to a painful two-week-long starvation and dehydration death in March 2005.

According to a Wednesday press release from the federal election agency, TerriPAC received a $137 fine regarding its 2006 12 Day pre-primary election report that covers the 20-day period just before the primary election.

Monetary penalties are determined by the number of days late, the amount of financial activity involved, and any prior penalties for reporting violations, the FEC said in its statement.

This isn’t the first time TerriPAC has failed to filed complete financial reports or turn them in on time. Since Schiavo created the political group, it has frequently run afoul of FEC guidelines by failing to file its campaign finance reports on time or include all of the necessary information.

The FEC sent it numerous requests for additional information and eventually

fined the PAC $1,350 in July and threatened an investigation over repeated failures to properly file reports about its fundraising and spending.

Schiavo filed legal papers in September with the FEC confirming his intention to disband his political action committee. According to FEC papers LifeNews.com obtained, Michael Schiavo’s brother Brian signed the report terminating the organization TerriPAC.

According to the FEC papers, TerriPAC had $35353.75 on hand in July and showed no cash on hand at the time of its closing.

However, the papers show $36477.76 during the last few months, none of which went to any candidates for office. Previous paperwork shows the expenses related to fund-raising and consulting and paying for other expenses such as the group’s web site.

In an indication that activity at TerriPAC began to fade in the days leading up to Michael’s announcement he was disbanding it, the PAC has only taken in a little over $1,100 in donations since July.

Schiavo says on the group’s web site that the PAC limited his ability to speak out about his viewpoint on Terri’s death and that he doesn’t like asking for money for the political group to continue.

"After nearly three years, it’s clear that I can remain engaged in the political process and social debate and in fact do more – speak out more often and tackle related issues –without the legal constraints of a PAC," he explained.

"Traveling around the country, making political donations and keeping up with the required legal paperwork takes funds," he said. "But to keep the process moving we have to keep asking for money."

Schiavo claims the PAC was a success at ousting more than a dozen pro-life members of Congress even though it only contributed to a handful of candidates because of poor funding.

"It worked" he said of the PAC, adding "more than 20 members of Congress who supported ‘Terri’s Law’ are not in Washington today."

While Schiavo has engaged in politics, Terri’s parents and family have worked full-time for their foundation which seeks to help disabled patients and their families obtain appropriate health care and treatment.

Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.terrisfight.org