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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FEC dismisses coordination complaint

The Commercial Appeal:
"The Federal Election Commission will not pursue an investigation into the independent expenditure committee activities of the brother of a Republican primary opponent of U.S. Rep.-elect Stephen Fincher.

Huntingdon, Tenn., lawyer John D. Stevens filed the FEC complaint in April against the committee of Robert Kirkland, who spent more than $1 million in the losing effort to get his brother, Jackson physician Ronald Kirkland, elected to the seat of retiring Democrat John Tanner.

Stevens had alleged that the two brothers were coordinating their messages in violation of federal campaign law. The brothers agreed before they set up their campaign committees with the FEC not to communicate.

According to a letter from the FEC's assistant general counsel, Peter G. Blumberg, to Robert Kirkland's lawyer, Michael E. Toner, the six-member commission voted in executive session earlier this month. It was a tie vote, which under its rules means the file on the so-called 'matter under review' is closed. Records of the complaint and Kirkland's response are not yet a matter of public record, but will be disclosed, per FEC rules, in the first week of January."

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