Fraud case leaves California Democrats scrambling

Stunning accusations that a top California Democratic campaign treasurer looted the war chests of her big-name clients have left candidates across the state scrambling to raise more money as election season looms.

Diane Feinstein

Kinde Durkee, who controlled the funds of roughly 400 candidates and groups, ranging from Senator Dianne Feinstein to local Democratic youth clubs, was arrested in September and charged with fraud.

While the extent of the losses isn’t yet clear, the coffers of dozens of Democratic politicians have been frozen, prompting the crippled campaigns to ask the California Fair Political Practices Commission to permit further donations from contributors who have already given the maximum.

Feinstein, seeking re-election in 2012, has been forced to start from “square one” to raise campaign money, said Bill Carrick, political strategist and consultant to the Senator.

But a commission official said it wasn’t that simple.


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