D.C. campaign finance office changes position, says Zukerberg can continue AG campaign

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Dec 4, 2013

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The District of Columbia's Office of Campaign Finance, which told a Washington, D.C., attorney last week to stop campaigning for attorney general, is now saying its previous order was unclear.

Paul Zukerberg, who is suing over the decision to delay the District's attorney general election and filed for the office last month, said he received an email from the campaign finance office Nov. 25 reversing its previous order telling him to cease his campaign.

In its original email, the office also told Zukerberg it was not accepting the campaign registration documents for his official committee, which were filed weeks ago.

Wesley Williams, public affairs manager for the office, said his email seeks to "clarify" the previous correspondence, dated Nov. 21.

"After further review, it would appear that the Campaign Finance Act does not specifically prohibit the collection of contributions or the making of expenditures by, or address the reporting requirements or contribution limits of candidates for the Office of Attorney General," he wrote.

Williams instructed Zukerberg to keep records of all receipts and expenditures; follow the same contribution limits as a mayoral race; and adhere to the reporting requirements of candidates and principal campaign committees.

But Zukerberg contends the office's original email was "quite clear."

"It shut down my campaign. It told me to 'refrain from collecting or expending any funds,'" he said in a statement last week.

"If we did not fight back, the government would not be clarifying its position now. They wanted to shut us down, regardless of what the law says."

Also last week, Zukerberg filed a new complaint in the District of Columbia Superior Court after losing a challenge in federal court over the decision to delay the attorney general election.

Zukerberg filed his eight-page complaint Wednesday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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