Republican state Rep. Tom Emmer, has agreed to pay $750 to settle an issue involving a campaign billboard.
Emmer, who's running for governor, is paying the civil penalty after the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board found that the owner of a sign company put up an Emmer campaign billboard in the last two election cycles after discussing the idea with Emmer's campaign manager in 2006. The signs weren't reported as campaign contributions.
Emmer disputes the findings because he says his campaign manager doesn't even remember talking about the issue, let alone directing the sign to be put up.
"Rather than getting caught up in a protracted battle, I agreed to [a] compromised settlement with no admission of liability because obviously I dispute the findings if there be a violation," Emmer said. "But with the small amount that they're talking about it's better to put it behind us. We have a campaign to run."
Campaign Finance board Executive Director Gary Goldsmith said Emmer negotiated the penalty without any admission of wrongdoing.
"If you look at the conciliation agreement, you'll see that the Emmer Committee has agreed to notify its staff members of the conditions under which an inadvertent conversation in which an independent expenditure could become a contribution without even knowing it happened," Goldsmith said.
The Campaign Finance Board also ordered a liberal group called Progressive Majority to pay $1,025 for making payments to the DFL Party and Women Winning Minnesota, without filing the proper paperwork.