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School Choice Group Nets Record Election Fine

In Ohio, election officials have levied their biggest fine ever—$5.2 million— against a school-choice lobbying group called All Children Matter.

The group has been involved in numerous states across the country, and as the 2008 election season heats up in the states, it's one worth keeping your eye on.

I've been following All Children Matter since it started running ads in 2004 in Indiana Statehouse races when I was a reporter for The Indianapolis Star. Though its purpose is to get school-choice-advocates into local and statewide office, the Michigan-based All Children Matter, which has its money-raising PAC in Virginia, uses controversial tactics. The group often comes to local races late in the game, using direct mail, and television and radio ads to hit candidates on polarizing issues such as illegal immigration and, in the Indiana case, same-sex marriage.

And in the Ohio case, its tactics didn't pay off. The All Children Matter Virginia PAC sent $870,000 to its local Ohio PAC, but the fine was more than five times that amount. The violation, according the media reports of the Ohio Elections Commission meeting, occurred because the Virginia PAC wasn't registered in Ohio.


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