Feds turn focus on Arkansas Dems

(May 27, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- The Federal Election Commission is still negotiating with state Republican Party officials over the size of a fine stemming from irregularities in bookkeeping. Now, the agency has also found problems with the state Democratic Party's books. FEC audit reports show that the Democrats' problems during the same period, 1999-2000, were less extensive than those found in GOP books. A report on the audit of the Democratic Party also said that party was more able than the Republicans to come up with records that cleared up many of the audit findings. Democratic Party Chairman Ron Oliver says he does not expect the party will be fined by the FEC. Last year, an FEC audit identified eleven violations of campaign finance law by the state Republican Party during the two-year period. Marie Holder of Little Rock, executive director of the state GOP, said the party should have a better idea next month about the size of the resulting fine.