DeMaio accused of prematurely soliciting campaign donations - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Councilman DeMaio accused of prematurely soliciting campaign donations

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego labor group accused City Councilman Carl DeMaio Tuesday of breaking ethics and fundraising laws by prematurely soliciting campaign funds, a claim the councilman denied.

The San Diego County Labor Council said the councilman started his mayoral campaign over Memorial Day weekend and began soliciting and accepting donations online for the June 5, 2012, election.

A city ordinance forbids candidates from accepting campaign funds more than a year before the election, which the San Diego County Labor Council claims DeMaio violated.

The group circulated images from a now-closed web site in which donations could be made via credit card or check made payable to "Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012."

Stephen Puetz of DeMaio's office said the group had a version of the site while it was under construction and the $5 donation the group tried to make was not processed.

A search for the DeMaio fundraising site turns up a message stating "Coming soon ... under construction."

"Carl DeMaio is violating not only the letter of our ethic laws, but also the spirit of openness and public accountability than they were written in, " said Lorena Gonzales, secretary-treasurer for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council. "We challenge Council member DeMaio to own up to the mistake, apologize to the public and give back any of his illegal contributions to make this right."

Puetz called the allegation a stunt meant to divert attention from real issues and the candidate's "Roadmap to Recovery."

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