The NY Post reports that the Federal Election Commission is fining the Reverend Al Sharpton and his advocacy group $285,000 for "violating a slew of federal election rules during his 2004 bid for president... In a decision to be made public next month, the Federal Election Commission found that Sharpton's Democratic primary campaign accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from private sources."

The FEC report will be published tomorrow and reads, "Sharpton 2004 materially misstated its receipts and disbursements, as well as cash on hand in 2004." Apparently FEC, which investigated after a complaint from a watchdog group, also found that Sharpton's 2004 campaign "kept poor records of its activities and expenditures" and mixed funds with Sharpton's National Action Network.

Out of over $500,000 in campaign expenses, the Post reports, "His campaign committee paid $121,996, according to the FEC, but the bulk was paid by the National Action Network and two private corporations controlled by Sharpton. A further $65,000 was paid by unknown sources." Plus, a supporter gave "excessive in-kind contributions" (like a fundraiser for him that cost $12,000, but was never reported) and there's mention of a $200,000 loan from Republican operative Roger Stone (who denied it).

Originally Sharpton was supposedly going to pay a $500,000 fine but he and his former campaign manager signed a deal for the $285,000 fine. Sharpton's spokewoman said, "Rev Sharpton is gratified that after full review of the record, the FEC significantly reduced the original fine and stated in the agreement that there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing by National Action Network or the campaign." Previously, the Post has questioned donations to the National Action Network from major corporations.