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Robin Carnahan can use legal expense fund for Fox suit

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan waves to the crowd during an election night watch party in St. Louis on Nov. 2, 2010. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Federal Election Commission says Missouri Democrat Robin Carnahan can set up a legal defense fund to help cover $85,000 of costs from a copyright lawsuit brought by the Fox News Network.

Carnahan and Fox News recently settled the lawsuit, with each side agreeing to pay its own attorney fees. The lawsuit stemmed from a TV ad Carnahan ran using Fox News footage during her unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign last year.

Federal regulators issued an advisory opinion saying Carnahan can set up a separate legal defense fund that does not have to follow the contribution limits for federal candidates. The FEC says Carnahan can accept unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations, labor unions and political committees until all the legal costs are paid.

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