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Union cries foul on the Diaz-Balarts, Ros-Lehtinen; campaign says much ado about nothing

South Florida AFL-CIO president Fred Frost got word that the Federal Election Commission will look into what he says is a case of Miami's three Republican members of Congress "soliciting illegal campaign contributions."

Frost says Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen participated in a joint fundraising event on May 30, requesting that contributors write separate checks to each campaign.

But under FEC law, Frost says, such joint fundraising events "must either establish a new political committee...or select a participating political committee to act as the fundraising representative." He's asking that the money raised at the event be returned.

"The people of South Florida expect their members of Congress to uphold the highest ethical standards and unfortunately those standards have not been met....." Frost said.

Carlos Curbelo, a spokesman for the brothers' campaign, accused Frost -- whose group has endorsed Lincoln Diaz-Balart's challenger, Raul Martinez, of looking to muddy the waters. Curbelo called it a "frivilous complaint" and said the host of the fundraiser shouldn't have listed all the names together on the invite.

"We're obviously going to respond to the commission and say that he shouldn't have done that, but it's not a major issue," Curbelo said.

The invite to the reception hosted by Armando and Beatriz Bucelo bears a disclaimer that it was paid for by all three campaigns.

Curbelo says he didn't see it before it went out.

Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ron Klein recently set up the South Florida Victory Committee for a joint fundraiser that benefitted both of their campaigns. And the Diaz-Balarts have set up a separate committee, DB Victory, that raised $94,038 in the last quarter.

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