If the Federal Election Commission agrees with its auditors, George Bush's 1992 presidential re-election campaign will be ordered to repay the Treasury $1.3 million for campaign spending infractions.
In reports that will be formally presented Thursday, the auditors also concluded that the presidential campaign of Democrat Paul Tsongas should pay the Treasury about $180,000.In totaling up the largest repayment total on record, the FEC auditors concluded that the single largest chunk of the Bush repayment order was for nearly $1 million in federal matching funds the campaign received. The FEC auditors determined that the Bush-Quayle Re-Election Committee was not entitled to the funds.
If it accepts the FEC's findings and repayment amounts, the Bush-Quayle campaign would have 90 days to pay and 30 days to appeal the finding.
According to financial reports filed with the FEC, the Bush campaign had just short of $400,000 cash on hand as of Sept. 30, 1994.
The Bush-Quayle repayment total is the highest ever recommended by the FEC, exceeding President Ronald Reagan's $1.3 million repayment order from the 1980 election. However, much of Reagan's refund stemmed from excess remaining funds, not improper spending or accounting.
In the Tsongas case, the auditors focused on more than $98,000 in "undocumented expenses," more than $71,000 in "apparently excessive" campaign contributions and just over $10,000 in improper convention-related expenses.