SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A report finds California lawmakers are circumventing campaign finance limits through “ballot measure” committees that set no caps on the amount donors can contribute.
The Sacramento Bee says the committees allow legislators to ask contributors for more than the $4,100 per election they can solicit for their own campaigns.
The accounts must be used to support or oppose any ballot measure, but that can include items still in the development stage that might never see the light of day.
Over the past two years legislators collected $2.7 million through these committees. A Bee review finds some of those funds were used to pay for items with questionable connections to ballot measures — including thank-you gifts to donors, a lawmaker’s tuition and contributions to nonprofits. Some lawmakers spent the money on out-of-state fundraisers.