- - Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HOUSE

Complaint: Rangel paid with PAC funds

A nonprofit group has complained to the Federal Election Commission that censured Democratic Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York improperly paid legal bills from a political action committee.

The National Legal and Policy Center alleged in the recent complaint that Mr. Rangel’s National Leadership PAC could not be used under FEC rules for the New York Democrat’s legal defense.

Mr. Rangel denied any wrongdoing.

“The National Leadership PAC attorney has authorized the use of its funds for its legal expenses,” he said in a statement. Mr. Rangel said the center is biased against him and added, “A complaint can be filed by any entity and it should not be taken as fact.”

The policy center had accused Mr. Rangel of ethical wrongdoing numerous times during a House ethics investigation that led to his censure last week for financial and fundraising violations. The misconduct at issue in the House proceeding did not involve the legal fee payments.

The center said Mr. Rangel paid $293,000 to his principal defense attorneys from his National Leadership PAC. At least portions of another $100,000 paid to another firm also might have been for his legal defense in that case, the complaint said.

A leadership political action committee is separate from a candidate’s own campaign committee, and is designed to elect other candidates.

MINNESOTA

Court’s ruling affects vote count

ST. PAUL | Minnesota’s top court has dealt Republican Tom Emmer a setback that could make it harder to sue over the state’s unfinished governor’s race.

The state Supreme Court released an opinion Tuesday that closes off Mr. Emmer’s attempt to disqualify some votes in the race. The court last month had rejected his petition to make local officials match the number of votes and voters using polling place rosters.

The court had ruled without releasing its reasoning. Mr. Emmer had been waiting for the opinion as he weighs whether to pursue a lawsuit over the election in his race with Democrat Mark Dayton.

Mr. Emmer is certain to lose a recount, given a large vote deficit and relatively few remaining ballots for a state board to go over. Mr. Dayton led by almost 9,000 votes.

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