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Elections chief wants political parties to pay up

In scouring his already-thin budget for places to cut, Secretary of State Kurt Browning has hit on an idea to make the well-oiled political parties give the state $300,000 they receive yearly from candidate qualifying fees.

"Our governor suggested we be creative, think outside the box. That's exactly what we're doing," Browning said, in response to a reporter's question over whether the Legislature, which often does the bidding of the parties, will go along.

Browning said he hit on the idea to raise more money without raising fees so that he could offset cuts to cultural programs that his office also oversees.

"For those of us who live here, for those of us who plan on coming here, there needs to be a quality of life. And you're not going to find that quality of life if we keep cutting libraries, we keep cutting cultural arts, we keep cutting historical preservation," he said.

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Bob

The Division of Elections is one of the worst run agencies in the entire state. Instead of this stupid idea, why doesn't the DOE collect all the fines and penalties due it--like the $9,000 by former Rep. Bruce Antone, for one. Also, they should do a review of all the political committees that on the website have apparently spent hundreds of thousands more then they took in--something that's illegal and worth hundreds of thousands in fines.

The DOE is a joke that might as well be disbanded if the entire staff isn't fired and new people hired.

The fines are owed to the Elections Commission - an entirely different group.

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