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Wednesday, January 9,2013

Pay up

Councilwoman A'Lynne Robinson's state rep campaign owes the state for not filing finance report

by Andy Balaskovitz
The state has fined Lansing City Councilwoman A’Lynne Robinson’s campaign committee $1,000 for not filing a finance report after she was defeated in the August Democratic primary for state representative in the 68th district.

According to the state Bureau of Elections, Robinson’s committee was notified in October and November of the maximum $1,000 “late filing fee” for not filing a post-primary finance report. The report shows campaign expenditures and contributions of the final days of the primary election.

Robinson deferred questions about the fine to her campaign treasurer, Deanna Cambridge. “Last I knew we filed it,” Robinson said Monday.

Cambridge, who worked as a record keeper on Robinson’s 2007 and 2011 City Council campaigns, said the report was filed on time electronically and blamed the state’s not having it on a computer error. However, she said the committee would pay the fine if necessary.

“We’ll get to the bottom of it,” Cambridge said. “If there’s a fee due to the fault of mine, then that will be taken care of as well. We’re not trying to not do what’s required.”

Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Elections, said the department is unaware of any glitches and that there has not been contact with anyone from Robinson’s committee.

“We are not aware of any technological issue preventing them from filing,” he said. 

According to notices sent to the committee, fee collection may be turned over to the state Department of Treasury if not acted upon. Under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Robinson and Cambridge are “equally and severally liable” for the late fees, and the Department of Treasury “may take collection actions against the personal financial holdings … to bring the account balance to zero,” the notice says.

Robinson finished second behind Andy Schor in a field with five other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the 68th state House district. Schor defeated Timothy Moede in the General Election, replacing former Rep. Joan Bauer.

Three other candidates in the Democratic primary were assessed fees related to filing late finance reports, though those have been paid. Griffin Rivers paid a $200 fee for doing so, while Ted O’Dell and Dale Copedge each paid a $25 fee for filing a report a day late.

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