Obama Pays Parking Tickets 17 Years Late

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 8, 2007; 9:27 PM

BOSTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama got more than an education when he attended Harvard Law School in the late 1980s. He also got a healthy stack of parking tickets, most of which he never paid.

The Illinois Senator shelled out $375 in January _ two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign _ to finally pay for 15 outstanding parking tickets and their associated late fees.

The story was first reported Wednesday by The Somerville News.

Obama received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1991, mostly for parking in a bus stop, parking without a resident permit and failing to pay the meter, records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show.

He incurred $140 in fines and $260 in late fees in Cambridge in all, but he paid $25 for two of the tickets in February 1990.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, dismissed the tickets as not relevant.

"He didn't owe that much and what he did owe, he paid," Psaki said on Wednesday. "Many people have parking tickets and late fees. All the parking tickets and late fees were paid in full."


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Three years ago, long after Sen. John Kerry had clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, fellow Democrat Dennis Kucinich continued to campaign for the White House. Now, federal regulators say the Ohio congressman has to pay for his futile adventure.

The Federal Election Commission on Thursday said Kucinich, who is again running for president, must repay the government $135,518 in public matching funds that he spent after he had become ineligible to use them.

FEC auditors said Kucinich spent the money between March 4, 2004, and July 29, 2004, when Kerry was officially nominated. Candidates who receive less than 10 percent of the popular vote in two consecutive primaries lose their eligibility for money from the taxpayer financed presidential campaign fund.

The Kucinich campaign has disputed the auditors' conclusions, saying private money raised between August and December should be applied to debts incurred while Kucinich continued to campaign. The FEC disagreed.

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