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In the middle of the night, Robaina's phantom move

In the middle of the night Rep. Julio Robaina, a Miami Republican, got his fellow colleagues on the House floor to amend a lengthy elections bill that would lessen the penalties against someone who does not disclose if they paid for a campaign ad.

Shortly before midnight, Robaina said that what he wanted to do was merely eliminate penalties against people who fail to follow a provision of the election code. Robaina said it was wrong to subject those people to a misdemeanor, as opposed to just a fine from the elections commission. (Of course, it is worth noting that last year lawmakers changed the law so that a person can't file a complaint against the elections commission without "personal knowledge" of the violation.)

But the penalty that Robaina was discussing was drawn to a section of the law that requires an individual who decides to pay for an independent expenditure, which could be an ad for or against a candidate, to place a disclaimer on the ad saying exactly who paid for it.

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