GSP Consulting, PAC Agree to Pay Federal Election Commission $26,000 Fine
Walter F Roche, Jr., Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A Pittsburgh-based lobbying firm and its political action committee agreed to pay the Federal Election Commission $26,000 to settle a complaint that they violated campaign contribution limits.
The agreement explains that GSP Consulting Inc. and its PAC failed to disclose their affiliation with a disbanded Pittsburgh political action committee established by Houston Harbaugh Legislative Services. The GSP committee in 2004 and 2005 worked to raise money for U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, an Upper St. Clair Republican, from people ineligible to contribute to it, according to the agreement.
The settlement stems from a complaint filed nearly three years ago by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
A commission spokeswoman said Thursday that parties to the agreement have until May 1 to protest.
The commission dismissed companion complaints against former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's campaign committee and individual contributors from Pittsburgh, including an executive who donated to the GSP PAC and whose company was a lobbying client.
The April 6 agreement states the commission "found reason to believe" that GSP Consulting, its PAC and GSP officials Joseph Kuklis and John Dick violated federal campaign laws, including "facilitating corporate contributions" by soliciting earmarked contributions from corporate executives.
As part of the agreement, the GSP political action committee and Kuklis agreed to "cease and desist" from violating campaign finance laws. …