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Pingree looks on the bright side

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) yesterday released an audit of Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause, which is a potential source of embarrassment for the prominent government and ethics watchdog that prides itself on adhering to campaign finance regulations and ethical mores.

The audit found that Pingree failed to properly disclose conduit contributions from a range of special interest groups, as well as a $18,000 transfer from a joint fundraising committee during her 2002 campaign for Senate. Pingree ran as a Democrat against Sen. Susan Collins (R) in Maine.

The FEC left open the possibility of future penalties, stating in its report that "the Commission may initiate enforcement action, at a later time, with respect to any of the matters discussed in this report."

Pingree said the report vindicated her by failing to find evidence of illegal fundraising. -- Ethics watchdog faulted on campaign lapses (TheHill.com)