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Washington State: Commission fines Dems

The Olympian reports: State campaign-finance regulators fined the state Democratic Party a record $185,000 this week for failing to make timely disclosures of contributions during the 2004 election cycle.

The party entered into two agreements with the Public Disclosure Commission, which led to the total fine and avoidance of a possible lawsuit related to alleged violations of finance reporting laws. The Democrats also agreed to pay $2,500 for investigation costs, bringing the total sanction to $187,500, the PDC reported.

"Political parties need to be leaders in state politics," Mike Connelly, the PDC's citizen chairman, said in a news release. "And the Washington state Democrats are not setting a good example."

The party failed to report the source of $394,544 in contributions it received into federal accounts then transferred to its state accounts during the 2004 election cycle. Democrats also failed to disclose nearly $705,000 in debts and obligations that were outstanding in the election cycle, depriving the public and opponents from knowing the extent of its expenditures on candidate-support efforts until after the campaign. -- Top Stories - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington