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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Feds auditing Florida Democratic party



The Federal Election Commission has launched an extensive audit of of the Florida Democratic Party, after finding red flags in reviewing federal spending reports filed during the 2008 election cycle. Naturally this prompted Buzz to inquire whether we were likely to soon see Karen Thurman dragged out the the party headquarters in handcuffs. No, said spokesman Eric Jotkoff, that's not likely.

"It's a very standard thing because we are the largest swing state with the most activity during the presidential campaigns,'' Jotkoff said. The party's federal lawyer, Neil Reiff, assured the party it's not unusual, Jotkoff said, and the matter is nearly resolved. The reqired annual state audit was recently completed and found no problems, he added.

Still Florida Democrats have a track record of sloppy bookkeeping and worse. Anybody remember Scott Maddox's little problem with a tax lien and unpaid payroll taxes? Or the $200,000 fine party fundraiser Jeff Ryan had to pay for elections law violations by a comittee set up by Democratic legislators? Florida appears to be one of only nine state parties to have been subjected a federal election commission audit since 2000, and this is the second time.

"I have every confidence people were wtching things pretty darn carefully in how the money was spent,'' Rick Boylan, secretary of the state party said. "I don't think this is a big deal."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:21pm]


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