Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
September 28, 2011

The Fair Political Practices Commission will meet Friday to discuss options for helping political committees affected by the arrest of Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee.

But political candidates aren’t the only ones facing uncertainty in light of the federal mail fraud charges filed against the longtime campaign treasurer. Durkee, who has been accused of stealing large sums of money from political committees she managed, also handled the books in recent years for dozens of nonprofit organizations.

The nonprofits leaving their cash in Durkee’s hands tackled a variety of causes, including promoting online poker and combating diabetes among Latinos. But many of the organizations listing the Burbank-based treasurer or her office address in their tax filings in recent years have something in common: ties to the political world.

Durkee’s nonprofit clients have included an association for adult entertainment clubs, a national electoral reform organization and foundations run by elected officials and lawmakers’ spouses, according to tax filings. She’s also been listed as treasurer for several groups created to fund voter registration projects in Southern California, including the American Voter Education Fund and the Orange County Voter Information Project.

Many accounts tied to Durkee’s firm have now been frozen, leaving affected groups in limbo and looking for answers. The bank that held hundreds of accounts controlled by Durkee has asked a Los Angeles judge to step in, the Los Angeles Times has reported, telling the court it cannot determine what money belongs to what committee or organization in the wake of transfers that Durkee allegedly made.

“Right now we can’t access anything, and we don’t know what we had and what we don’t have,” Glenn Smith, president of the California Association of Club Executives, told The Bee on Tuesday.

Politically connected nonprofits that have listed Durkee or her firm’s address on tax forms in recent years include:

• Two organizations formed to support the National Popular Vote movement, which is pushing states to agree to award their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. One of the groups reported having more than $600,000 in the bank in its 2009 tax filings.

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