For many years, California Democratic politicians and elected officials trusted Kinde Durkee as their campaign treasurer. Now she's being compared to Bernie Madoff.
On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said hers was among the 400 accounts Durkee handled and her campaign coffers may have been “wiped out.” And the way California campaign laws work, if a contributor maxed out, the politician cannot go back to that donor and ask for another contribution, even if the money was stolen. That may well put the Los Angeles County Democratic Party in a difficult financial position going into the 2012 elections.
Kinde Durkee is accused of taking thousands of dollars from the campaigns of several elected officials, including Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-San Diego) and Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana). The Los Angeles County Democratic Party reported that more than $200,000 had been taken from its fund.
Durkee, who has not entered a plea on federal mail fraud charges, was released Friday on $200,000 bond.