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Pro-Rader committee faces $15,250 fine for tardy report; appeal planned

by George Bennett | May 11th, 2011


A committee that boosted former Democratic state Rep. Kevin Rader‘s unsuccessful 2010 bid for state Senate is facing a $15,250 fine for failing to file a campaign finance report just before last year’s Aug. 24 primary.

The Florida Elections Commission approved the fine Tuesday against the Committee to Improve Florida’s Economy. The committee plans to appeal the fine, attorney Mark Herron said this morning.


The committee is chaired by veteran Democratic operative Eric Johnson. Johnson was also Rader’s consultant last year.

While the committee was two months late filing a report that was due Aug. 20, Herron argued that a “significant portion” of the information required on the report had been mistakenly included in a previous report that was available for public inspection on the Division of Elections website.

“It’s a fine for the paperwork being put in the wrong bin when everything was posted online,” Herron said.

But Herron conceded that a $70,000 expenditure by the committee for a pre-primary mailing wasn’t reported until October. Herron said the committee’s bookkeeper wasn’t aware of the expense until October and immediately took steps to amend the committee’s report when she learned of it.

The Committee to Improve Florida’s Economy is an “electioneering communications organization” that is permitted by state law to buy ads and send mailings that praise or criticize candidates without expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate. Such committees can accept unlimited contributions but cannot give money directly to a candidate.

The committee spent $70,000 on a mailing before Rader’s Democratic primary win over Peter Burkert and $49,763 on an October mailing a few weeks before Rader lost the general election to Republican Lizbeth Benacquisto.

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4 Responses to “Pro-Rader committee faces $15,250 fine for tardy report; appeal planned”

  1. G guy Says:

    A VETERAN democrat operative from Robert the quitter Wexler’s campaign, FAILED to do his job.

    Rader deserved to lose his race. Kevin “G” Rader, what a laugh that he starts using his middle initial and name to garner the jewish vote.

  2. Oh Please Says:

    Already with the finagling? We don’t need another RINO in the Senate.

  3. Steve Says:

    Johnson let’s get to work…in jail. You, Bobby…and Burtie..yes you can bring Deutch’s staff with you.

  4. Are you kidding Says:

    Are you serious, so the treasurer of a committee(which is NOT the same as the Rader Campaign) made a mistake on their treasurer’s report and is being fined. Big Deal!

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