Democratic AGs' association fined $10K

Chris Rizo Sep. 18, 2009, 2:30am

Chris Koster (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)-- The Democratic Attorneys General Association has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for campaign finance violations in Missouri.

The violations stem from the group's contributions to Chris Koster in the November 2008 election, when he was seeking to succeed fellow Democrat Jay Nixon as the state's chief legal officer.

Denver-based DAGA gave Koster a total of $600,000 in his race against Republican state Sen. Michael Gibbons. Koster just narrowly won the Democratic primary, after an expensive race against state Reps. Margaret Donnelly and Jeff Harris

The Missouri Ethics Commission found that $300,000 DAGA had given to Koster came from a Washington, D.C., bank account before the group was officially organized in Missouri.

The commission also said DAGA failed to make $300,000 in contributions to Koster's campaign through a committee treasurer who was a Missouri resident.

DAGA Executive Director Travis Berry was quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as saying the errors were technical in nature and self-reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

"While MEC and DAGA agreed that all of DAGA's contributions were fully and completely reported during the campaign, there were several technical flaws in the committees filing," Berry was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "These errors were identified and reported by DAGA, however, because DAGA was indeed out of compliance for a period of time, DAGA agreed to pay a fee to the MEC."

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