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State lawmaker to appear before registry
Mar 11, 2004 12:00 am
State Rep. Susan Lynn of Mt. Juliet faces an April 3 show cause hearing before the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance over an allegation that she improperly solicited campaign donations on her website.
A Nashville man, John Rutherford, who said he made a $5 donation to Lynn's campaign through her website days after the current session of the General Assembly began appeared yesterday before the Registry.
Registry spokesperson Rachel Parrott said Rutherford was "asked a few questions" about his donation during his appearance, which ended with the panel slating a show cause hearing for its April 3 meeting.
"At the next meeting she's being asked to show cause why she was soliciting contributions," Parrot said.
The flap came when Rutherford submitted a $5 donation to Lynn's site three days after the General Assembly went back into session. Election finance law forbids lawmakers from soliciting campaign donations while the Legislature is in session.
Rutherford – a self-professed Democrat – then filed a complaint against the freshman GOP lawmaker, who described the donation as an oversight.
Lynn said yesterday she plans to appear to answer the Registry's questions, reiterating her earlier stance that she merely forgot to disable a link on her site enabling electronic donations.
"I think this is all such a new area, websites and electronic money transfers and things of that nature," she said. "I'm hoping that's something they'll look at, something they'll take into consideration."
Lynn said immediately after the complaint was filed, she had an e-mail sent to other lawmakers as a reminder.
"I just wanted to keep anyone from making the same mistake I did," she said. "I just reminded them if they have a link for donations on their website they should disable it."
Rutherford, at the time the complaint was filed, denied any political motivations behind the move. He said he simply happened upon Lynn's site while surfing the Web.