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Former Senator Larry Craig says Penalties Too Harsh

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig says federal election regulators are being unduly harsh by demanding he pay nearly $360,000 in penalties for tapping campaign accounts to cover his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting.

In early October, the Federal Election Commission told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson that the Idaho Republican should pay $140,000 in fines and return nearly $217,000 to his campaign.

The FEC argues he misused the money to fund a personal expense. In a 26-page rebuttal Wednesday, however, Craig argues the penalties are “harsh, unjustified remedies,” that he genuinely thought using the money from election donors was appropriate — and that he lacks the financial resources to pay. The FEC will now get a chance to respond to Craig’s arguments.

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