Michigan Democratic Party fined $500,000 over bingo games

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Democratic Party has been fined $500,000 after a probe found problems with the organization’s former practice of fundraising through bingo games.

The Detroit Free Press reports Friday the civil fine is one of the largest levied by the Federal Election Commission. An investigation conducted by the political party found poor record-keeping, excessive contributions and other problems, and those findings were turned over to the federal agency.

The bingo games, which Democrats ended in 2014, have long been a point of contention. Republicans passed a 1994 law to ban political bingo games, but voters rejected it.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment with the Democratic Party Friday.

The Free Press says the party agreed to hire a treasurer and a firm to review its accounting processes.

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