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  Florida Sen. Martinez could face fines
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Last EditedRP  Apr 23, 2007 12:21pm
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News DateFriday, April 20, 2007 06:20:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFlorida Sen. Mel Martinez -- the national Republican Party's new top fundraiser -- could potentially be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars after federal auditors found repeat violations of federal election law in his 2004 Senate campaign.

His campaign disclosed this week that it has already given back $97,000 to donors to the 2004 campaign, after the audit by the Federal Election Commission found Martinez had accepted contributions from donors that exceeded the federal limit.

Auditors also found that Martinez's campaign failed to file the required last-minute contribution notices before the 2004 primary and general elections disclosing 109 contributions that totaled $162,000.

Martinez, who has blamed the mistakes on the campaign's rapid fundraising -- he pulled in more than $12 million in 10 months -- said Thursday the campaign is working actively on resolving any issues raised by the FEC.

''Mistakes were made, we've corrected them and we're moving forward,'' said Martinez, who narrowly defeated former Florida Education Commissioner Betty Castor to win the seat. ``We take them very seriously.''
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