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No, the OTHER Kenneth Starr

By Josh Richman
Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 3:39 pm in campaign finance.

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission today posted on its website all warning letters issued between July 1 and August 24; starting tomorrow, it’ll post all advisory, warning and ‘no violation’ letters on its website one week after the letter is issued by the Enforcement Division.

“The issuance of these letters by our Enforcement Division is a function that many just don’t know about,” FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson said in a news release. “The public and media should have access to this information, which details not only those that have violated the Political Reform Act and not received a fine, but instances where the FPPC has found no evidence of wrongdoing.”

I took a quick spin through the lists posted today and one recipient’s name immediately caught me eye: Kenneth Starr. According to the FPPC’s July 16 letter – from which the recipient’s address has been redacted – Mr. Starr “failed to comply with the campaign reporting requirements when you contributed $10,000 in 2006 to Westly for Governor.”

Has the world gone mad? Could Kenneth Starr – the antagonist of President Bill Clinton, and lead counsel before the California Supreme Court last year for the pro-Proposition 8, anti-gay-marriage folks – have been a big-time donor to a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2006?

Actually, no. A glance into the Secretary of State’s database shows the Kenneth Starr who gave money to Westly is actually a New York City-based financial adviser and accountant to the stars.

To make things right, that Starr must immediately file the appropriate papers with the Secretary of State, the Registrar-Recorder of Los Angeles County, and the San Francisco Department of Elections. Although it’s a violation of the law, “we are closing this matter with a written warning to you,” the FPPC wrote, adding future conduct or newly discovered information could lead it to reopen the case later.

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