BY JIM MILLER
SACRAMENTO BUREAU
jmiller@pe.com

Published: 03 October 2011 09:55 PM

SACRAMENTO — San Bernardino County Republicans have settled a lawsuit by the company the party hired to sign up thousands of new voters before the 2006 election, an effort marked by claims of registration fraud.

The $9,250 settlement with John Burkett and David Turajski, finalized in early September, was disclosed in the county GOP central committee’s pre-election financial statement, filed last week. Burkett had sued the county party in 2008, alleging breach of contract.

The San Bernardino GOP’s finances are improving on the revenue side, as well, after years of elected officials and wealthy donors keeping their distance as authorities investigated the party’s former chairman, Bill Postmus. The party had only $219 in the bank in February.

“I was reluctant for quite a few years to give them any money,” Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, said Monday. “I told them, ‘You have to clean up your act, politically and financially, to be a viable organization.’”

On Aug. 25, Cook and Charles Munger Jr., a Palo Alto physicist who bankrolled the initiatives creating the state’s independent redistricting panel, gave the San Bernardino party a combined $25,000.

Cook’s $10,000 donation paid off the Burkett lawsuit. The $15,000 from the Charles Munger/Charlotte Lowell Trust will help the county GOP hire an executive director, something it has lacked since July 2009.

“Like any party that has had its leadership fall short of its highest ideals, the Republican party there wishes to recover,” Munger said. “I’m a Republican, and I care about what goes on in my state.”

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