The Statehouse Capitol, in Sacramento. (Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy
March 16, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.

In a rare bipartisan agreement, the leaders of the Democratic and Republican caucuses of the state Senate and Assembly have united to fight a proposal by the state’s campaign watchdog agency to change the test for when a candidate controls a political committee.

The rule change considered Thursday by the state Fair Political Practices Commission was opposed in a letter from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), Senate Republican leader Jean Fuller of Bakersfield and Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley, all on behalf of their caucuses.

“Our collective opposition is based on our view that the proposed regulation is inconsistent with the current statutory definition of a controlled committee, creates a vague and uncertain test, and will likely result in unintended consequences that could actually undermine the purposes of the Political Reform Act,” the four leaders said.

The commission staff proposed to incorporate some of the legislators’ recommendations but the panel decided Thursday to delay action for a month at the request of new Commissioners Allison Hayward and Brian Hatch, who wanted more time to review the last-minute changes.

Determining that a candidate controls a political committee means the committee may be subject to the contribution limits that apply to the candidate and is identified in mail and ads as controlled by the candidate.

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