The campaign of Kirk Jorgensen, who took on fellow Republican Carl DeMaio in last year’s primary race for the 52nd congressional seat held by Democrat Scott Peters, got into some leftover hot water with the Federal Election Commission. Bested last June by DeMaio, who in turn lost to incumbent Peters in November, Jorgenson’s campaign treasurer Michelle D. Moons was handed a $4950 administrative fine for what the federal regulators said was failure to file the committee’s July quarterly report. She argued she was the victim of a Catch 22.
“This is due to an error in the systems of the campaign’s electronic filing software,” responded Moons on October 27. “The campaign tried multiple times over the course of the days following the end of the period for which the report covered to file the report.” She added: “It is acknowledged that the FEC does not consider committee software failures a reasonably unforeseen or beyond committee control reason; however, this was not simply a software failure, but a breakdown in the ability of the committee to file. The software is not simply on the computer of the committee, but rather the online software system used by the committee to file electronically. The committee cannot file via paper, thus the committee was unable to file in a way other than through the committee’s online software.”
Moon’s plea was rejected by the commission, which in February upheld the verdict of an appeals officer that the fine must be paid. Meanwhile DeMaio, now a radio talk show host like onetime mentor Roger Hedgecock, had a cash balance of $49,425 left over in his federal campaign fund as of the end of March, the latest reporting period. Post-election expenditures have included $2400 paid to graphic designer Margaret Brennan of McDonogh, Georgia, and a $378 ticket from Southwest Airlines.