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State Drops Fine Against National Dems

Anita Kumar

On Tuesday night, State Board of Elections officials announced they were fining the Democratic Governors Association $2,500 for failing to comply with state campaign finance laws involving the group's donations in the governor's race.

On Wednesday, they changed their mind.

So what happened?

Well, besides some obvious confusion within the State Board of Elections, the DGA gave the state the updated records it needed to comply with the law.

That doesn't mean some Republicans aren't going to speculate that the state agency run by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, decided to play politics.

The DGA has contributed $2.15 million to Common Sense Virginia, a political action committee that is running TV ads attacking Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell across the state.

Virginia law requires out-of-state groups to report all donations it has received to the Board of Elections when it receives them if they are contributing more than $2,500 to PAC.

The DGA had not reported donations since April 15, but sent updated records to the state last night. State officials say the group always had 10 days from the time a notice was sent to update its records -- a fact they failed to mention last night when announcing the fine.

"I think what this whole has shown is that Bob McDonnell will do about anything to distract from the real issues,'' DGA spokeswoman Emily DeRose said.

McDonnell's campaign called on Common Sense Virginia to stop airing its ads attacking McDonnell for opposing $125 million in federal stimulus dollars.

Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesman said the DGA is "scrambling now to do damage control" after breaking state law.

"Their money is paying for a misleading, negative ad to run statewide,'' he said. "The ad should come down, and DGA should apologize to the people of Virginia for their willful disregard of the commonwealth's campaign finance laws. DGA should not have any credibility left after their recent actions."

By Anita Kumar  |  May 13, 2009; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Haven't you heard? Democrats don't have to follow rules. There are countless examples... Murtha, Dodd, Rangel just to name a few.

Posted by: steveincville | May 13, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The State Board of Elections isn't run by Governor Kaine.

It's run by the State Board of Elections which includes Republican appointees.

Posted by: FederalGraphics | May 13, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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