Panel says Missouri governor violated campaign rules

Gov. Matt Blunt’s campaign fund-raising committee has agreed to pay a $15,000 fine for violations of campaign finance laws over the last four years.

In a statement issued Friday, Blunt’s campaign acknowledged the fine, but insisted that the campaign had done nothing wrong and agreed to pay it simply to settle the dispute.

Spokesman John Hancock labeled the investigations a witch hunt inspired by the Missouri Democratic Party and an out-of-control state Ethics Commission. He said the dispute boiled down to a “debate about accounting practices and interpretation of notoriously vague and ambiguous campaign finance statutes.” Democratic Party officials said the fine, from an Ethics Commission known for lax enforcement, showed just how egregious the violations were.

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