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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats' fundraiser got help paying $200K fine



Gary Fineout catches us up on the hefty fine leveled against Jeff Ryan,a top fundraising consultant for the Florida Democratic party: File this in the got missed at the time, but still interesting category.

Jeff Ryan, a top fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party, used donations funneled through a political organization run by a Tallahassee attorney to pay off a $209,000 state elections fine.

Ryan got hit with the fine because he was chairman of an outfit called Florida House Victory, which was set up by then Rep. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, to raise money independently of the state party during a time when legislative leaders were at odds with then party chairman Scott Maddox. (Sound familiar?)

The Florida Elections Commission in 2007 ruled that the fundraising committee -- which was eventually shut down -- accepted campaign contributions above the legal limits. Instead of fighting the charges, which Democrats said were due to technical mistakes made when the paperwork was filed, Ryan agreed to pay a fine of $209,000.

But state election records show that $209,000 was paid to a trust account maintained by well-known Tallahassee ethics and elections attorney Mark Herron to pay off the fine. The money came out of a committee of continuous existence also run by Herron called Mark-PAC.

More here


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:19pm]


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