Monday, August 6, 2007

Democratic Party says state senator violated reporting requirements

The Ohio Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against state Sen. Kirk Schuring, alleging he violated federal campaign reporting requirements.

Schuring, a Jackson Township Republican who represents Stark County except its eastern edge, said he was surprised at the move and guessed that ''this is the kind of hardball style of politics that goes with a potential run for Congress.''

He has formed an exploratory committee to run for Ohio's 16th Congressional District; he has said he would run only if Ralph Regula, R-Navarre, who has held the seat since 1973, retires. The district covers Stark, Wayne and parts of Ashland and Medina counties.

The Democratic Party said Schuring has not filed a ''statement of candidacy,'' which is required when a candidate's campaign exceeds $5,000 in contributions or expenses. Schuring's campaign has said it has raised more than $135,000 for a potential bid.

''By deliberately confusing the voters of the area with his half-truths about his intentions, Kirk Schuring is trying to have it both ways,'' Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said in a statement. ''After the scandals of (Bob) Taft, (Tom) Noe, (Bob) Ney and others, the last thing we need is a politician who doesn't think the rules apply to him and is deceitful to the voters of the district.''

Schuring said he is not an official candidate and has informed donors of that while collecting money. His legal counsel also has advised him that he must file a statement of candidacy if he is raising or spending money as a candidate, he said.

He said of Democrats: ''They must feel like I'm a force to reckon with, and that's why they've tried to put me in a bad light.''

The election complaint calls on the commission to make Schuring return his contributions and pay a fine.

Sen. Kirk Schuring:
Senate Building
Room #041, Ground Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: 614/466-0626

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