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FEC deadlocks on whether fundraising firm gave improper benefit to California GOP

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Members of the Federal Election Commission deadlocked Thursday on whether a fundraising firm's decision to forgive an estimated $138,000 in interest owed by the California Republican Party constituted an improper political contribution.

The failure to reach a decision, which means the California GOP will not be penalized, came despite a finding by the commission's professional staff that the write-off by the Minnesota-based Strategic Fundraising Inc. (SFI) was not "in its ordinary course of business," which would amount to breaking campaign finance law.

The commission deadlocked, as usual, along partisan lines: The two Democratic commissioners found that it ...

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