The Federal Election Commission has penalized Vice President Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign $219,000 for accepting over-the-limit contributions and a deeply discounted flight on a private jet owned by an embattled New York hedge fund, as well as for sloppy record-keeping.
Biden’s campaign has indicated to the FEC that it will pay the penalty to the U.S. Treasury to resolve the campaign finance compliance issues, which were revealed in an audit report released Friday by the commission.
Elizabeth Alexander, a spokeswoman for Biden in the vice president’s office, called the FEC-ordered repayment “relatively small,” and said “some repayment is commonplace after presidential campaign audits.”
Biden was subject to the audit as a condition of accepting taxpayer funds for his campaign through the presidential public financing system. In all, Biden, who dropped out of the race after coming in fifth in the Iowa caucuses and was tapped eight months later to be Barack Obama’s running mate, received $857,000 in taxpayer money for his presidential campaign (including thousands of dollars after he was elected vice president) which raised $8.2 million from individual contributions, according to the report.
It found that the campaign accepted an illegal corporate contribution in the form of a round-trip flight between New Hampshire and Iowa in June 2007 for three people (it does not indicate if Biden, then a Senator from Delaware, was among the passengers) on a private jet owned by GEH Air Transportation, LLC. Federal Aviation Administration records show that GEH Air Transportation is owned by the Clinton Group, a New York hedge fund controlled by George E. Hall.