FEC imposes $30,000 fine tied to Kobach’s 2020 US Senate run


TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — Incoming Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has agreed to help pay a $30,000 fine to resolve a federal complaint about misuse of a group’s email list during his unsuccessful 2020 campaign for the United States Senate.

The Federal Election Commission revealed Friday that it had approved an agreement with Kobach, his US Senate campaign committee, his treasurer and We Build the Wall, a group that raises money to build a private wall along the US-Mexico border. Lawyers for Kobach’s campaign and We Build the Wall signed the agreement in early November, just days before Kobach was narrowly elected attorney general, and the commission approved it on November 16, according to documents available at line.

The settlement came more than three years after two watchdog groups, Common Cause and the Campaign Legal Center, filed formal complaints about a July 2019 fundraising email for the US Senate campaign. Kobach. Kobach, who is a polarized advocate of tough immigration measures, lost the Republican primary for a vacant US Senate seat in August 2020.

Kobach assumes office as Kansas attorney general on January 9.

The FEC settlement did not say how much each party would pay for the $30,000 fine, but records available online show Kobach’s campaign committee paid $5,060 by check on Dec. 6.

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According to the documents, the problem was $2,000 paid by Kobach’s Senate campaign to rent the We Build the Wall email list. While Kobach’s campaign initially deemed it a fair market price, per the settlement, he later admitted it was below market value, resulting in an illegal campaign contribution to We Build the Wall.

Kobach served on the group’s board of directors and was general counsel but resigned in early September after the group and Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, were indicted in New York on money laundering allegations. money, conspiracy and fraud in a campaign to raise money to build sections of the border wall. Kobach was not involved.

Kobach declined to comment on the deal Friday, and the Washington attorney handling it did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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