TOPEKA — Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' re-election campaign today was fined $1,500 for violating the state ethics law.
Campaign committee official Joe Scranton immediately wrote a check to pay the fine after a hearing before the State Governmental Ethics Commission.
Sebelius issued a statement saying she respected the ruling and added she would "take immediate action to make sure nothing like this mistake occurs again."
In dispute was an April 12 e-mail sent by the campaign to 92,000 people.
In the e-mail, Sebelius promoted her work on school finance. The e-mail included a link to a website where a contribution could be made.
The problem was that the e-mail went to 16 lobbyists. State law bans legislators, statewide officials and candidates for those offices from seeking or accepting donations from lobbyists, corporations or political action committees while the Legislature is in session.
Gary White, an attorney representing the Sebelius campaign, said the campaign's vendor tried to remove the names of registered lobbyists from the e-mail database, but apparently failed to get them all.
After a hearing on the issue, the Ethics Commission met behind closed doors for 15 minutes and then emerged to approve the fine.
Commissioner Robert Miller said $1,500 was appropriate because the commission had fined Atty. Gen. Phill Kline the same amount for a similar violation.
The maximum fine for the violation is $5,000.