Prop. 77 committee returns governor’s donation

first_imgA campaign committee backing Proposition 77, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempt to take the powerful job of drawing legislative and congressional districts away from lawmakers, has returned $1.75 million donated by the Republican governor. The ballot measure’s opponents said Schwarzenegger’s contributions exceeded limits imposed by voters in 2000. “The governor is so eager to grab power, he’s willing to break the law to do it,” Lance Olson, an attorney for Californians for Fair Representation, the committee fighting Proposition 77, said Thursday. An attorney for Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Team campaign committee, Tom Hiltachk, said the money would be used in other ways to support several Nov. 8 ballot measures backed by the governor, including Proposition 77. Schwarzenegger is running for re-election and Redistrict California is headed by Silicon Valley millionaire Steve Poizner, a Republican candidate for insurance commissioner next year. Proposition 34 imposed a series of limits on donations to candidates in an attempt to curb the political clout of wealthy donors and special interests. Paul Hefner, a spokesman for Californians for Fair Representation, said preparations by Proposition 77 opponents to file a lawsuit challenging the donations prompted Redistrict California to return the money. Last week, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuez returned five donations to one of his campaign committees that exceeded the Proposition 34 transfer limits. The money, a total of $115,000, came from four of his Assembly colleagues and a state Senate candidate. Republicans filed a complaint with the FPPC challenging the donations.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The campaign did not immediately return a call seeking additional comment. The initiative would take the power to draw legislative and congressional districts away from the Democrat-dominated Legislature and turn it over to a panel of retired judges who would try to draw new districts in time for the 2006 elections. Schwarzenegger says Proposition 77 is an attempt to prevent the conflict of interest of legislators drawing their own districts. But Democrats see it as an effort by the Republican governor to elect more Republicans, although some GOP lawmakers also oppose the measure. The $1.75 million includes $500,000 that the California Recovery Team gave to the Redistrict California committee on Sept. 13 and $1.25 million that Schwarzenegger gave to the same committee out of his own pocket on Sept. 23. Olson said those contributions exceed a $3,300 limit on transfers between candidates imposed by Proposition 34 and regulations adopted by the state’s Fair Political Practices Committee to implement that 2000 ballot measure. last_img

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