On politics in the Golden State
December 11, 2012 | 7:01 am

Former state Sen. Jim Brulte (R-Rancho Cucamonga) has used more than $700,000 in leftover political contributions to set up a new charity organization.

During his years in office, Brulte, who is now a potential candidate for state Republican Party chairman, was known as a prodigious fundraiser. Like many former politicians, he stashed his leftover campaign cash in a political account for an office most expected he would never run for.

Earlier this year, Brulte shut down his campaign account for the Board of Equalization and established a 501(c)(3) organization that he said will focus on charities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

In an interview Monday, Brulte said his new Inland Empire Foundation will hand out money to other, well-established charities in the area. The timing, he said, has nothing to do with his new interest in becoming the next head of the California Republican Party.

“This is where I live, this is my community,” he said. “I want to give back.” Closing out his political account also allows Brulte to make money on the lecture circuit, something he couldn’t do while he was still technically a candidate for public office.

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