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Thursday, December 07, 2006
FEC chairman stepping down
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner announced Thursday he would leave the panel he has served on for the past four years.

Toner, a former counsel to President Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and counsel to the Republican National Committee, said he would leave "this winter" but gave no specific date of his departure.

"The Federal Election Commission has never been stronger and more effective than it is today," Toner said in a statement released by the FEC. "During the first half of 2006, the FEC collected over $5 million in civil penalties, which is more than the Commission has ever collected in an entire year during the agency's 30-year history. Moreover, seven of the 10 largest civil penalties that the FEC has ever collected were obtained during the last four years."

-- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
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