FEC Complaint Settled by Cannon Worker Attending Seminar

FEC Complaint Settled by Cannon Worker Attending Seminar

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A campaign worker for U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon has agreed to attend a seminar on campaign finance law to help settle a complaint over the worker's purportedly soliciting campaign contributions while he was on a Spanish-language radio show.

In addition to the staffer, Marco Diaz, the campaign's treasurer -- state Sen. Curt Bramble -- also will attend the seminar sponsored by the Federal Elections Commission.

The agreements settled an FEC complaint.

"That doesn't qualify as a slap on the wrist," the Utah Republican's chief of staff, Joe Hunter, told the Washington bureau of The Salt Lake Tribune. "It turned out to be much ado about nothing. The fact that there even was a settlement was simply the desire to put it behind us."

During an interview on May 22, 2004, on the Spanish-language radio program "We The People," host Jose Libardo Rivera appealed to listeners, including those in the country illegally, to contribute to Cannon's campaign, which would violate federal election law.

"We welcome this money," Diaz said in a translation accompanying the complaint, "but you have to find someone who is legal in order to donate the money."

Diaz said he did not knowingly try to encourage people to break the law. Both also disputed the accuracy of the translation of the program.

Russell Sias of Provo filed the complaint with the FEC. Sias was co-chairman of Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, which supports strict enforcement of immigration laws, and has been part of the Utah Minuteman Project.

Cannon has been the sponsor of legislation authorizing a guest worker program, which would allow undocumented immigrants working in agriculture to earn citizenship.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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