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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Campaign finance office to look into 'Write Fenty In' signs

The Office of Campaign Finance will hold a closed-door hearing Wednesday to begin investigating complaints that the Write Fenty In campaign is illegally using Fenty 2010 yard signs.

Wesley Williams, a spokesman for the Office of Campaign Finance, confirmed his office had received complaints so a hearing has been scheduled. He declined further comment.

According to Democratic leaders, several green and white signs in support of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty at early voting locations appear to have come from Fenty's unsuccessful primary campaign. In some cases, paper with the words "write-in" has been posted on Fenty 2010 signs, Democratic leaders said.

The Save DC Now political committee heads the Write Fenty In campaign. Supporters of presumptive mayor-elect D.C. Council member Vincent C. Gray say that under campaign finance laws, the write-in group should have to purchase its own signs.

Fenty has officially endorsed Gray in the Nov. 2 general election. But the mayor has refused to personally request that the leaders of the write-in effort stop their campaign. It's unclear how the write-in campaign obtained the signs, but several activists who worked on Fenty's primary campaign head the write-in effort.

Over the weekend, Save DC Now robo-called non-affiliated voters in the District urging them to write-in Fenty.

It's unclear if the Gray campaign is responsible for the complaint. But Frederick Butler, a spokesman for Write Fenty In, said the complaints are a "sign of desperation" from the Gray campaign.

Butler said the signs are an in-kind donation, noting they are running a campaign on a shoe-string budget.

"We are using the signs because they were given to us by our supporters and we need it for our candidate," Butler said. "If we are just a Web site, and the Gray campaign has nothing to worry about, why are they submitting these kinds of complaints...It's much to do about nothing."

--Tim Craig

By  |  02:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Categories:  2010 District Election, 2010 District Election

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