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Ayotte Starts Fund for Lawsuit Defense

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Sen. Kelly Ayotte has established a legal expense fund to help cover costs stemming from lawsuits filed by a left-leaning blogger.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte has established a legal expense fund to help cover costs stemming from lawsuits filed by a left-leaning blogger who claims he should have been allowed to attend a 2010 Nashua GOP fundraiser.

In documents filed Monday with the Senate's Office of Public Records, the New Hampshire Republican established the account to allow supporters to donate to defray the cost of a case blogger Christopher King brought against the Senator, her campaign committee and a list of other defendants, including the New Hampshire State Republican Committee, the Nashua police department and several of its officers.

King "has filed numerous frivolous lawsuits against Sen. Ayotte and/or her principle authorized campaign committee," the filing states. King, who writes a blog frequently critical of Ayotte called "KingCast," claims his First Amendment rights were violated when he was barred from attending a fundraiser in Nashua for Ayotte's Senate campaign.

The fund also may be used to cover other proceedings King might initiate arising from that incident, the filing says.

Ayotte Chief of Staff John Easton said the Senator hopes the need for the fund will be short-lived. "The fund was created to help fight baseless complaints from a disgruntled individual who was excluded from a political event," he said. "Currently, there are motions to dismiss by all parties against him, and we're hoping to have it resolved quickly."

Contributions to such funds, common among Members of Congress facing legal bills, are capped at $10,000 a year and do not count against contribution limits for campaigns, although lobbyists are banned from donating to legal funds.

Correction: June 8, 2011

The article mistated the fundraiser that Chirstopher King's lawsuit stemmed from. It was a 2010 Nashua GOP fundraiser.

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