Associated Press

By Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press
Sep. 16, 2016 – 6:43 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has put promised small dinners with political donors on hold until he finishes signing bills for the year, an aide said Friday, amid criticism of what some called paid access during a crucial decision-making time for the governor.

The state Democratic Party wrote lobbyists and others in August soliciting contributions for two election causes it said Brown backed.

In return, “the governor will be hosting a series of small dinners in August and September to thank those that are able to help on his priorities,” state Democratic Party financial chief Angie Tate said in the letter.

The timing of the dinners struck some political insiders as offering cozy access to Brown during the annual period in which he decides the fate of scores of bills already approved by the Legislature.

Some political commentators condemned the offer, in comments and newspaper columns.

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