Ohio Secretary Of State Bungles FEC Forms For Her Senate Campaign

April 23, 2010 7:44 a.m.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who’s running for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate race there, appears to have failed to correctly report her staffers’ salaries, the Plain Dealer reported this week.

Instead of itemizing their salaries, Brunner lumped them altogether in a single payment to a payroll company. The payment in the first quarter of 2010 was $37,000.

But according to Federal Election Commission rules, any payment above $200 must be itemized.Her campaign manager, David Dettman, told the Dealer that the campaign was unaware of the mistake.

“The campaign has not itemized staff salaries paid through a payroll service in any past reports,” he said. “If the FEC requests the campaign to provide those details, it will fully comply with that request.”

If she did break the filing rules, it would be the third time this campaign, according to public FEC records.

Brunner made two other errors over the last year and her campaign has received letters from the FEC requesting corrections to her filings. One letter was sent in September for not adequately describing a disbursement made for “consulting.” That report was amended. Another, sent this month, questioned how Brunner had added up multiple contributions by the same people for her year-end report. The campaign has until April 27 to fix it.

The FEC has not yet contacted the campaign over this matter. An FEC spokesman tells TPMDC that if the agency does, its letter will be posted online.

Dettman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Brunner is running against Lee Fisher, the lieutenant governor, for the Democratic nomination. The primary is May 4.

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