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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: campaign funds

Former Sen. Craig argues proposed FEC penalties are ‘harsh’ and ‘unjustified’

Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is protesting the FEC's proposed $360,000 in fines and restitution for tapping campaign accounts for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting, calling the penalties “harsh” and “unjustified,” the AP reports. Craig also argues that he doesn't have the financial resources to pay, and that he and his lawyers acted in good faith, having genuinely thought using the campaign money was appropriate because they concluded other lawmakers had done it in the past. Craig also disputed that the hefty fine would deter other lawmakers from acting as he did. “Any deterrent effect has already been achieved,” wrote his lawyer, Andrew Herman. “The professional and personal consequences of Senator Craig's guilty plea have been severe … To argue that without a harsh penalty a party might want to duplicate this experience ignores these costs.” Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.


Craig gets more time to fight FEC fines in bathroom arrest case

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Ex-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig won more time to file court paperwork as he fights federal election regulators who contend he misused campaign funds to defend himself following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting. A judge in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Thursday gave Craig until Nov. 13 to file documents opposing the Federal Election Commission's proposal he be forced to pay $140,000 in fines and return $217,000 to his campaign accounts. Previously, Craig's documents were due by Wednesday. Craig contends it was legal to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign supporters to support his legal defense in the 2007 case. He claims it was part of official business when he was arrested while traveling from Idaho to his Senate job in Washington, D.C.

Craig wants more time to fight FEC fines

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig says he needs more time in his bid to fight off demands by federal election regulators he pay $140,000 in fines and return $217,000 to his campaign that he'd used for his legal defense after his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting. Craig filed the documents late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Ordinarily, the Idaho Republican would have until just the end of this month to formally oppose the Federal Election Commission's proposed penalties against him for allegedly misusing campaign cash. Now, however, Craig is asking U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson for another two weeks to file paperwork he hopes will help him avoid stiff financial penalties. In Tuesday's filing, Craig says the FEC doesn't object to the delay.

FEC calls for former Sen. Craig to pay ‘significant’ penalty for misuse of campaign funds

Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig should personally have to pay a “significant” civil penalty of $70,000 for his “serious violations” of campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission argues in a recent court filing, in proceedings stemming from Craig’s use of campaign funds to pay legal fees after his 2007 Minnesota airport men’s room arrest. McClatchy News Service reports that FEC attorneys are calling for Craig’s campaign committee also to pay $70,000 in penalties, saying total penalties of $140,000 would have a “real deterrent impact” to keep other politicians from improperly tapping campaign funds for personal purposes.

Craig’s attorneys have argued that the then-senator was “engaged in official, Senate-sponsored travel” at the time of his arrest, when he was returning to Washington, D.C. from Idaho, so the use of the campaign funds wasn’t improper. An undercover officer said Craig solicited him for sex in a restroom that was being patrolled after reports of such encounters; Craig quietly pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, but after news of the arrest and plea surfaced, began an unsuccessful legal fight to withdraw his plea, denied any sexual intentions in the incident and proclaimed that he’s not gay.

Amid extensive national publicity, Craig announced his intent to resign from the Senate, then changed his mind and served out his term, retiring in 2008 after a congressional career that began in 1980; he is now a political and regulatory consultant in Idaho and Washington, D.C. You can read McClatchy’s full report here.

Fed judge rejects former Sen. Craig’s official duties argument

A federal judge today refused to dismiss a Federal Election Commission lawsuit against former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig for using $217,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting, the Associated Press reports. Craig had argued the use of the funds was appropriate because the incident occurred in the course of his official duties, but U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson found that the charge against Craig didn't relate “to his conduct as a legislator, but only actions undertaken in the privacy and anonymity of a restroom stall.” The judge set a scheduling conference in the case for April 26; click below for a full report from AP reporter Frederic J. Frommer in Washington, D.C.

Fed judge to consider whether then-Sen. Craig was on official business during ‘07 airport restroom arrest

The question of whether then-Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was on official business when he was arrested in a Minneapolis airport men's room in 2007 will be taken up by a federal judge this week, McClatchy Newspapers reporter Michael Doyle reports, in a case with far-reaching implications about how campaign dollars can be spent. Craig spent more than $216,000 in campaign funds to pay attorneys, after being charged with disorderly conduct; his attorneys insist he was on official business and so could tap his campaign treasury. Click below for Doyle's full report, via McClathy and the AP.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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