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Franchot returns illegal funding
Question of the Day
ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Comptroller Peter Franchot has returned $54,000 in campaign contributions from a Hollywood movie mogul who violated Maryland campaign-finance law shortly before the November 2006 elections, a campaign official said yesterday.
In October, the Maryland state prosecutor fined movie producer James G. Robinson $119,000 for making excessive campaign contributions to Mr. Franchot, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, all Democrats.
Mr. Robinson, a Baltimore native, is the sole stockholder of 20 corporations, which made the contributions. Contributions by two or more corporations owned by the same stockholder are considered to be made by one contributor under Maryland campaign-finance law.
An individual is limited to contributing $4,000 to a candidate and a total limit of $10,000 for a gubernatorial election cycle in Maryland. The same limits apply to a corporation.
“It was a lot of legwork and effort that needed to be put in,” he said.
When Mr. Robinson was fined, state prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh described it as one of the largest levied in Maryland for violating campaign-finance laws.
Prosecutors said criminal prosecutions were not warranted because there was insufficient evidence to conclude Mr. Robinson intentionally violated the law. He made the contributions between Oct. 6 and Oct. 23, 2006.
Mr. Robinson is chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Creek Productions, Morgan Creek International, the Morgan Creek Music Group and other companies. He was the producer of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Good Shepherd.”
By Michael Widlanski
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