This post has been updated to include response from Gary Schindler.
A DFL challenger in a key legislative race faces the prospect of a campaign finance violation hearing just a month before the November election.
The GOP-aligned Minnesota Jobs Coalition leveled a complaint against Gary Schindler -- DFL candidate hoping to unseat the GOP incumbent, Rep. Peggy Bennett of Albert Lea -- for "knowingly" receiving a banned corporate donation. That donation -- for nearly $2,900 -- came from the business of former state DFL legislator, Robin Brown.
The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board has scheduled a probable cause hearing for Oct. 5.
The Jobs Coalition -- a key ally of House Republicans who are trying to hold on to their majority -- alleges that the two campaign committees "falsified" their campaign-finance reports in accounting for the donation that they said came from Brown's horse business, Wedgewood Peruvian Pasos.
Candidates who terminate their campaign committees -- like Robin Brown in this case -- are allowed to give leftover money to other candidates. The Jobs Coalition alleges the money did not come from the terminated campaign account, but from the business account, constituting an illegal corporate donation.
Joseph Brown, Brown's husband and the treasurer of her campaign committee, said recently it was not an intentional violation but mere confusion arising from existence of several bank accounts.
Update: Schindler released a statement saying everything was reported and corrected once the error was discovered. Although the money came from a business bank account, it was actually from Brown's terminated campaign, he said.
The statement continues: "I am not a veteran politician. This is a 'lesson learned,' and I am better because of this experience. I am moving forward and will continue to talk to voters about a positive vision for the future of Greater Minnesota and the state as a whole."