No Recycling Allowed

Campaign finance rules


When then-Mayor Adrian Fenty lost the District of Columbia Democratic primary to challenger Vincent Gray last year, a few young Fenty fans weren't ready to give up. They formed a committee called Save D.C. Now and launched a write-in campaign for Fenty, urging voters to take a last stand for the mayor in the general election.

For this grassroots political activity, the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance fined the Fenty diehards $18,500, more than twice as much as they had raised. Their offense: recycling stickers and signs from the primary. D.C.'s campaign finance rules say a political group may not repurpose materials purchased by another organization in an earlier part of the election cycle.

Josh Lopez, the Fenty ward coordinator who ran the unofficial write-in effort, told The Washington Post he considers the ruling "political intimidation." He plans to appeal the decision.