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Florida Senate Race Already Drawing Complaints

AP reports:

U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch filed a complaint Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Democratic rival Alex Penelas illegally coerced donations from a South Florida health care company in their U.S. Senate race.

The complaint by Deutsch, D-Pembroke Pines, accuses the Miami-Dade County mayor of receiving at least $49,000 in illegal contributions from 41 employees and their spouses of CarePlus Medical Centers Inc. Both are competing for the seat of Sen. Bob Graham, who is running for president.

The Miami Herald has more details:

Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas, whose campaign pledged to reject contributions for his U.S. Senate campaign resulting from a controversial e-mail appeal sent to employees of a South Florida healthcare firm, took tens of thousands of dollars from people associated with the company.

A Herald analysis of campaign finance records shows that employees, relatives and business associates of Michael Fernandez, owner and chief executive officer of CarePlus Medical Centers Inc., donated at least $68,000 to Penelas' campaign -- all connected to the same day in May that Fernandez hosted a fundraiser at his home.