Democrats scramble to replace cash tied to Durkee

A suspected embezzlement scheme that has ensnared hundreds of campaign accounts of Democrats has sent candidates scrambling for new cash as they prepare for an election season that could reshape California's political landscape.

Just when they need to start hiring staff and commissioning polls, many candidates have no idea how much might have been taken from them or how much they have left, and they cannot find out: As many as 400 political accounts have been frozen by the banks holding the funds since the Sept. 2 arrest of treasurer Kinde Durkee.

She controlled funds for numerous politicians, predominantly Democrats, and it could be years before litigation sorts out who is owed what.

"It couldn't happen at a worse time," said Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach), who is expected to face Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) in a tough June primary in a newly drawn district. "I hope for my sake, and for all of my colleagues, that we're able to recoup the funds." L.A. TIMES

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