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By Juliet Williams
Associated Press
Posted: 01/24/2014 12:53:36 PM PST
Updated: 01/24/2014 12:53:36 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — California’s political watchdog agency said Friday it has collected $300,000 from one of two campaign committees accused of improperly reporting contributions in a case that prompted the largest ethics fine in state history.

In separate agreements filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, the two committees also agreed to repay $15 million in contributions, as ordered by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

However, it is unlikely that most of that will be recovered because the money was spent on the campaigns in the 2012 election.

The groups that received the campaign donations — the Small Business Action Committee and the California Future Fund — spent heavily in the final days of the election. Their goal was to thwart Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative and pass a measure that would have restricted the power of unions.

Voters approved the tax measure and rejected the union initiative.

The groups received the money from groups based in numerous states, including Arizona, Iowa and Virginia.

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