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The Alabama State Ethics Commission on Wednesday fined Representative Marilyn Lands (D-Huntsville) $4,500.

The fines, totaling $4,500, were imposed after the Lands campaign failed to file daily campaign finance reports during the final week of the special election as required by law, a requirement triggered when donations or expenditures exceed $5,000 in a 24-hour period.

“We looked back at the previous committee and found that they had filed daily reports in the past, which shows that they are familiar with the daily reporting requirement. The FCPA (Fair Campaign Practices Act) calendar that we have for each election cycle is posted on our website,” said Jeff Elrod, elections director for the Alabama Secretary of State.

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Peck Fox, legal counsel for Christine Starnes, who was responsible for filing the daily reports, said that although Starnes had filed the daily reports in a previous cycle, she forgot the daily filing requirements this time. He also said that the donations that were required to be reported daily were listed in the weekly report filed before the special election.

“We are certainly not saying that no mistakes were made during the election campaign, but we would ask that the number of fines and violations be reduced,” Fox said.

Lands, who campaigned to end Alabama’s near-total abortion ban and protect access to contraception and in vitro fertilization, won a special election in March. flip a seat in the House of Representatives previously held by a Republican.

In a telephone interview, Lands said she would have liked the commission to show the campaign a little more leniency, which she said would be acceptable under the circumstances.

“I believe the commission acted in good faith. I know some of them. I think it was their first day and I have to assume that everyone here is acting in good faith,” Lands said.

State Department attorney Mike Jones said it was a “unique situation” because the donation amounts “significantly” exceeded reporting thresholds.

Of the 14 appeals on the agenda, Lands’ case was the only one in which all violations were upheld. The Secretary of State’s office recommended dropping the fines and penalties from seven of the 14 appeals. Jones said during the commission meeting that dropping fines and penalties is common practice, but this case is not “standard.”

The donations that had to be reported daily ranged from $6,000 to $30,000.

“Just because of the timing and the quantities, it’s a little different,” Jones said.

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