Monday, October 3, 2011 – 05;30 a.m.

You’ve gotta hand it to the San Bernardino County Board  of Supervisors for their campaign finance reform proposals.

The biggest idea is a cap on contributions to the candidates or officials themselves.

The possibility exists that the board may move to cap contributions at the same levels set for state legislators.

The current limits per election cycle is $3,900, or $7,800 for small contributor committees.

Yep. What a cure for the county’s political and corruption ills.

But what none of the proposals can legally address is expenditures by independent committees.

Federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions bar any imposition of limits on political action committees, commonly known as PAC’s.

What groups in the county enjoy tons of cash and can spend unlimited amounts supporting and opposing candidates?

The answer? County’s employee unions.

Currently county unions collectively command more than $2 million in PAC funds.

Also, what would prevent business owners or developers from creating PAC’s and pooling their resources to engage in independent expenditures?

The answer? Nothing!

Secondly, the county wants to pay the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to enforce the rules. Can you say laugh out loud?

Like the FPPC has nothing better to do than babysit San Bernardino County.

Why not spend the money to enact a county ethics commission?

Just a thought.