Former U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns fined by feds over ‘zombie’ campaign spending

Florida Politics

Former Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns is the first casualty of the Federal Election Commission’s crackdown on zombie campaigns, agreeing to pay a $6,900 fine and reimburse his campaign $8,120 for violating federal law prohibiting personal use of campaign funds. The FEC does not often initiate its own investigations, but was turned on to Stearns by a complaint from the nonpartisan watchdog Campaign Legal Center (CLC), which followed an October 2017 POLITICO story detailing Stearns’ questionable spending after leaving Congress in January 2013. “This is great news,” said Brendan Fischer, Director of Federal Reform for the Campaign Legal Center. “This is an additional indication that the FEC is beginning to take the zombie campaign phenomenon seriously.”

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