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September 17, 2014

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Republican group agrees to $40,000 fine

Updated Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | 11:56 a.m.

A group that ran hundreds of television advertisements supporting Brian Sandoval for governor in 2010 has agreed to a $40,000 fine for failure to register as a political action committee.

The Alliance for America’s Future, a Virginia group that supports Republican candidates, and the office of Secretary of State Ross Miller reached a settlement on his suit against the organization.

Deputy Attorney General Kevin Benson said Tuesday the settlement calls for the Alliance to register as a political action committee and to file campaign disclosure statements. The group has now complied.

Miller filed suit against the group, claiming it was ignoring the law in paying for the television ads. He sought to impose a fine of $5,000 for each ad and a preliminary injunction to stop the group from continuing its campaign.

Benson said the Alliance sponsored 320 TV spots in support of Sandoval, and court documents show it spent $189,223. The Alliance maintains its expenditure was incidental to the $7.8 million it spent in the 2010 election.

The Alliance maintained the law requiring the registration as a political action group and filing campaign finance reports was unconstitutional. Miller filed suit and during the court hearings sought $550 for each TV ad.

District Judge Jim Wilson in 2013 found in favor of the secretary of state and ordered a fine of $295 for each TV advertisement or a total of $109,560 plus interest.

The Alliance filed an appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court, which dismissed the case Tuesday after the settlement was reached.

The campaign finance report shows Alliance received $230,079 in May 2010 from the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the correct identification of Secretary of State Ross Miller. | (March 26, 2014)

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