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FEC clears congressman, blogger of violating campaign laws
The Federal Election Commission has issued a “no reason to believe” decision in a complaint against U.S. Rep. David Scott, political blogger Andre Walker and Scott’s campaign treasurer, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron.
The complaint, filed in March, charges Walker should have disclosed payments from Scott’s campaign on his now-defunct blog Georgia Politics Unfiltered (no relation to this Web site). Walker now runs Blog for Georgia.com.
Scott’s campaign fund paid Walker $2,950 in 2007 and 2008 for Internet consulting. Both parties said the money was for maintaining Scott’s campaign Web site.
Complainant David Knox of Democrats for Good Government charged that Walker’s blog posts favored Scott’s re-election bid and undermined those of his opponents, and the payments therefore should have been disclosed on the blog, as is required by federal law in some circumstances. The complaint contains many of GeorgiaUnfiltered’s posts on the race.
Scott’s campaign, in turn, alleged that Knox’s efforts were funded by Deborah Honeycutt, his Republican opponent in the 2008 election. You can read Scott’s and Walker’s responses to the complaint here and here.
(Knox’s organization, it should be noted, sponsored www.voteoutdavidscott.com during the 2008 campaign. That site is now defunct as well, but you can see what it looked like through the magic of the Wayback Machine at archive.org.)
The FEC’s general counsel, in an Aug. 21 report, found the explanation of the payments reasonable and dismissed the complaint as speculative. The commission approved that finding Sept. 8 and announced it Oct. 2.
(I know, this happened last month, but it was news to me, so I thought it might be news to you as well. Whoever you are. I stumbled across this on the FEC’s Web site and discovered later that Jason Pye and possibly others beat me to the punch in reporting it.)