The REST of the story
Commenter Shamalamadingdong has provided the backstory which is critical in understanding the Republican harassment of the Evans campaign and Rock Island Co. Dems and the settlement agreement which resulted.
It should be kept in mind that this suit had been filed way back in 1998 I believe, and it went nowhere.. until the Bush administration (Rove) got their guys in at the FEC. Then suddenly it became a priority.
The details and facts below have never made it into press accounts.
I actually read the FEC's complaint against the Rock Island County Democratic Central Committee. I will help you understand, as well as anyone else who cares, what their involvement was. At the time of the alleged infractions John G. was not even the treasurer of the committee.
The committee took out a newspaper ad to Get Out The Vote for all of the Rock Island County Democrats. The ad included Lane Evans. The FEC claimed that Cong. Evans was featured more prominantly in this ad than the other candidates. It was a big ad and therefore expensive. The FEC determined that this ad was not a local GOTV ad as intended, but was an in kind contribution to Lane Evans.
Now here is where the bootstrapping argument begins. Since the ad was an in kind contribution AND it's value was over $1000, the committee who purchased the ad must be registered as a federal campaign committee, AND the money spent on the ad must have been raised in compliance with ALL federal campaign laws AND money so raised must be documented to prove that money spent in support of a federal candidate was raised within those laws. Oh, and if you are now a federal committee you have to file reports, etc.
So a local committee, supporting our local candidates, with local money, creates a newspaper ad and urges people to vote for Lane Evans, which is within the rules, is determined to violate the rules because Cong. Evans, according to the FEC was featured too prominantly in the ad. If this interpretation is changed, then absolutley ZERO federal paperwork needed to be filed by the Rock Island Democratic Central Committee and absolutely NO federal campaign law even had the appearance of being broken.
The Rock Island Committee did not file federal paperwork because they were a local committee and had no intention of becoming or acting like a federal committee.
The $30,000 settlement paid by the Rock Island County Democratic Central Committee is probably only a third of what it would have cost them to prove their innocence of this frivolously filed claim. The charges should have been dropped, but between Mr. Gianulis' unwavering support and loyalty to Cong. Evans and the overzealousness of the FEC prosecutors to keep the cases together, this paltry 30K settlement was a huge Victory and now we can close the chapter and move on.
There you go. Now you know the REST of the story.