Democratic congressional candidate Lee Rogers, tracking down an unusual expenditure reported as the last item on a 48-page campaign finance report submitted by his opponent in the 25th Congressional District, has discovered that Republican Howard "Buck" McKeon in April paid a $4,600 fine to the Federal Elections Commission from his campaign account.
The fine was imposed after the McKeon campaign -- whose treasurer is his wife, Patricia -- filed its 2011 year-end report 13 days late.
Payment of the fine was obtusely reported, noting a disbursement to the Federal Elections Commission and stating under "purpose of disbursement" only "Federal Elections Commission."
The notice of the penalty , dated March 15, was sent to Mrs. McKeon, who for 2011 and the first half of 2012, was paid more than $95,000 from campaign funds for her services as campaign treasurer.
In a press release issued today, Rogers criticized the payment, saying it was part of a pattern of questionable uses of campaign funds by McKeon.
"Donors give money to candidates expecting that they'll use it for campaigning. They don't expect it to be used on fines for violating the law," Rogers says in the press release. "McKeon has a pattern of using donor money for expenses not related to campaigning. He's given away thousands to support Proposition 8 and for the legal defense fund of former Representative Tom Delay, who was found guilty of money laundering."
REPUBLICAN MONEY EDGE: The Sunlight Foundation reports today that more than $216 million has been raised in the 90 most competitive U.S. House, with Republicans holding a significant edge over Democrats, $118.6 million to $97.5 million.
The foundation reports: "Money-wise, the GOP is in solid shape. Republicans have a fundraising lead in 57 of 90 races that the Cook Political Report has deemed 'Toss-up,' 'Lean' or 'Likely.' Of these races, Republicans are the incumbent party in 54, and Democrats in 30. There are also six new districts in which it does not make sense to speak of an incumbent."
Here is the full analysis.
BOXER LUNCH FOR BROWNLEY: Perhaps seeking to make up some of the Democrats' financial deficit, at least in the 26th Congressional District, Sen. Barbara Boxer will be attending a lunch for candidate Julia Brownley next Monday in Westlake Village.
VOTERS, DO YOUR HOMEWORK: The nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, a terrific resource for voters seeking information on the choices they must make on this fall's ballot, has unveiled the fall 2012 edition of its online voter guide.