CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The conservative Club for Growth that is attacking GOP State Rep. Bob Latta in the OH-05 congressional race grew out of the organization that paid a $350,000 civil penalty last month for failing to report its political contributions and expenditures as required by federal law.
Latta has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission contending the Club for Growth has distributed an attack ad against him that distorts and falsifies his record as a state legislator. The commission plans to hold a hearing today.
The Federal Election Commission reports the penalty levied on Sept. 5, 2007 against the Club for Growth, Inc. was "the largest the commission has ever obtained after an enforcement action has moved to litigation." The full-text of the commission's media releases is available here.
This excerpt describes its conduct:
"From 2000 through the end of 2006, the Club accepted approximately $10.78 million in contributions from individuls that exceeded teh $5,000 contribution limit. Between 2000 and 2004 the Club also accepted more than $93,000 in corporate contributions."
The consent judgment reached in the civil case includes a permanent injunction that requires the Club to avoid further violations. Sharp lawyers might want to examine the legal document filed in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia to see it it has any possible application to Latta's dispute.