Not so fast! Watchdog commission puts brakes on efforts to increase donor limits for legislative leaders
In a 2-2 vote by the California Fair Political Practices Commission last week, the commission declined to endorse a proposal that would give greater power and fundraising ability to state legislative leaders, while creating new reporting requirements. Common Cause California and other open government groups warned against fast-track approval of the proposal.
AB 84 was originally introduced as a bill to move primaries from June to March, which would have empowered California voters to have more influence on candidates on the national stage. But during legislative recess, that reform was quietly removed and replaced with language that dramatically increased the donor limits and fundraising capacity of Democratic and Republican caucus leaders.
As currently written, AB 84 would allow caucus leaders to accept individual campaign contributions of up to $36,000 per source for races they are targeting, an eight-fold increase from the current $4,400 limit.
Common Cause California has not issued an official position on AB 84, which was quietly introduced over the July 4th holiday and has not gone through the typical review process. Last week we joined several open government groups in urging the FCCP to take more time to review the proposal.