Campaign Finance Law Violations o’ Plenty

We don’t have clean money quite yet, but we could get a lot closer with the passage of an initiative next year to put the 2014 SoS race on a kind of clean money system.  However, in the here and now of CFR, there’s still plenty o’ people breaking the law.

Steve Westly, who lost a Democratic primary for governor in 2006, admitted to 32 counts of campaign finance law violations and agreed to pay $104,500 in a settlement with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Westly failed to report expenses and information on contractors who were paid for millions of dollars in television ads, according to settlement documents. The fine, like all those announced Monday, still must be approved by the ethics agency, which meets Dec. 10.

State Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) has agreed to pay $20,000 in fines for accepting campaign contributions that exceeded the $3,900 limit for individuals.

Anderson and his representatives solicited more than $45,000 in contributions from five people, in amounts of up to $10,000 each. The money was given to the Fresno County Republican Central Committee, which is not subject to any limits on how much it can accept or donate to candidates. The Fresno committee then gave the same amount to Anderson’s election committee, the settlement said. (LA Times 12/1/09)

Of course, this isn’t the only allegation regarding Asm. Anderson. The FPPC is also looking into how he funneled money from his assembly accounts to his senate accounts via a whole long list of Republican County Central Committees. Apparently Anderson and his crew thought that the central committees were some sort of free pass. Which, it turns out, is only partially true.

As for Westly, you have to wonder where he’s heading with his career. I’m not sure this makes for any long lasting blow, but it certainly doesn’t help. There are a litany of down ballot races coming up in 2014, and a possible Senate race in 2012. Perhaps he’s looking at those?

2 thoughts on “Campaign Finance Law Violations o’ Plenty”

  1. Candidates and office holders have been using state party facilities for some time now to help them launder money.  It is not just a matter of playing games with the size of the contribution, it is the identity of the donor.

    Of course, Assemblyman X cannot receive more than $3,900 from an individual.  But political parties have no restriction.  So an individual who likes Assemblyman X gives $50,000 to a political party on the condition that it is earmarked for Assemblyman X.

    This obviously increases the amount of influence one person can have, but it also delutes to nothing the negative impact that such a donation might have.  If some terrible person gives money to Assemblyman X, that is a news story and can be used against him.  If that same person gives to the party and the party gives to Assemblyman X, who’s the wiser?

    None of this is news.  Everyone who reads this blog understands this game.  What is the solution?

  2. I think westly’s unqualified support for Arnie’s credit card bond in 2004 is a worse blow…

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