Kris Kobach campaign given maximum fine of $5,000 for mistakes in reporting campaign funds
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The campaign of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Wednesday was hit with the maximum fine of $5,000 for errors in reporting nearly $80,000 in campaign funds during his successful election bid last year.
Several Ethics Commission members said they were disappointed over statements by Kobach that the campaign self-reported the finance errors to officials.
The commissioners said it was the commission staff that brought the problems to light.
‘The commission does not condone a lack of candor. This is in no way, shape or form self-reporting,’ said Ethics Commission Chairwoman Sabrina Standifer.
The commission voted 7-2 for the fine. An earlier motion by Commissioner John Solbach for a $4,500 fine failed. Solbach said that he understood the commission’s frustration with the Kobach campaign, but that he was willing to go below the maximum fine because Arpke had helped in tracking down receipts. But his motion failed 4-5.
Earlier, Arpke and the commission’s general counsel Camille Nohe had worked out an agreement for a $750 fine. But under questioning from the commissioners, Arpke refused to concede during the hearing that it was the commission staff that uncovered the discrepancies in the campaign reports.
At one point, he said he didn’t remember how the errors first surfaced. ‘It has been a long time ago,’ he said.
Kris Kobach is the author of Arizona’s SB1070 anti-immigrant law, as well as other right-wing laws in several states.