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DFL House may be able to dump the debt

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Democrats Updated: December 9, 2013 - 6:58 PM

The DFL House may be able to dump the debt.

On Monday, the Federal Election Commission released new guidance about how federal committees, like the DFL House's federal campaign, can shed unpayable debt, like the DFL House's $56,000 long held IOU to a dead man.

In an item titled Resolving Unpayable Debts, the FEC said:

"A committee with unpayable debts (e.g., debts owed to defunct entities) that wants to discontinue reporting them should call their campaign finance analyst in the Reports Analysis Division for assistance. .. RAD typically advises committees to file a statement on Form 99 (Miscellaneous Text Statement) that includes a request to discontinue reporting the debt and an explanation of why the debt is unpayable and what efforts the committee has made to contact the vendor, including the timeline and any supporting details...Committees are advised to continue reporting the debt until they have verified with RAD that a debt may be taken off future reports."

What all that seems to mean is that the DFL House, which has reported a debt to the Benjamin Group for nearly a decade, can offer an explanation about the problem to federal regulators who may then allow the party's fundraising arm to close the books on the Benjamin Group debt.

The owner of the Benjamin Group is long deceased and the Group has no successor organization, said Rep.Steve Simon, the DFL House's federal treasurer until recently.

Simon said last month that they had been advised previously that they simply had to keep reporting the debt even though it was unpayable. And so, on report after report, the DFL House's federal campaign arm reported the debt year after year after year.

But, it turns out, the FEC is not that unreasonable and with the new guidance in mind, the repeated reporting may end.

"The DFL House Caucus will pursue whatever new process or procedure is in place to get rid of the unpayable debt to the Benjamin Group," Simon said in an email.

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