Florida Election Commission hits ECO with serious fine

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The Committee to Improve Florida’s Economy, an electioneering communications organization associated with former Rep. Kevin Rader, lost its appeal Tuesday of a fine of more than $15,000 for failing to file one its finance reports on time, reports the News Service of Florida. The Florida Elections Commission voted 4-3 to find no unusual circumstances despite the organization’s claims that it had already mistakenly filed many of its expenditures for the period covered by the report in an earlier reporting period — causing a bookkeeper to think the report had already been filed. Some commmissioners were sympathetic up to a point. “The information was there,” said Gregory King. But some commissioners were also troubled that both reports omitted a $70,000 expenditure for a mailer until more than a week after the late report was filed. The ECO’s treasurer was listed as Eric Johnson, a consultant for Rader’s 2010 Senate campaign.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.