Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
April 20, 2012

Bracing for a flood of independent expenditures for candidates or causes in this year’s elections, California’s political watchdog agency is seeking to tighten state law to require more personal liability.

FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel said that legislation is being drafted, at the agency’s behest, to require that principal officers of independent expenditure committees be held personally responsible for violations of election law.

The bill would take effect immediately if passed by a two-thirds supermajority of each legislative house and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Independent expenditure committees can spend unlimited sums in elections without coordinating their efforts with the campaigns of candidates or causes they support or oppose.

Two years ago, the FPPC released a report that concluded $127 million had been spent on independent expenditures since 2000. The money comes primarily from labor unions, business groups, political parties, wealthy individuals, and Indian tribes with casinos, the FPPC said.

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