They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

California Campaign Scam Gets FEC Rebuke


In a conciliation agreement reached between Cash and the FEC last month and made public on Friday, Cash contends that Durkee filed an amendment with the FEC naming him as treasurer on Jan. 30, 2009 "without his knowledge or consent." The agreement states that Cash was in charge of the committee's strategy and acted on its behalf "almost entirely by himself."

He acknowledged that he solicited contributions in a manner which "may have led some contributors to believe that they were making contributions to Obama for America, Barack Obama's Presidential campaign committee." But Cash maintained he was simply trying to get the word out about Obama's campaign and that he wasn't aware what he was doing would be against the law because Durkee did not advise him of the law.

Despite finding against Cash, the FEC decided not to issue a fine because Californians for Obama -- which was renamed Californians for Change -- currently has just $29.41 in cash on hand and has disclosed debts and obligations of $10,804.73.

The case against Durkee has not yet been resolved, though the FEC found in December of 2008 that there was "reason to believe" that Durkee had violated the law. While a lawyer for Durkee claimed she and her company had "no responsibly for fundraising solicitations or any discretionary authority with respect to expenditures," but the FEC found the actions were "reasonably calculated to deceive persons of ordinary prudence and comprehension."

Durkee, of course, has bigger things to worry about, like her upcoming preliminary hearing on March 16. Federal prosecutors and her defense team asked a judge for a delay last month because the government needed additional time to analyze the data in the computers they seized during the investigation.