Author: Linda

California’s Proposition 29 is a statewide election

California's Proposition 29 is a statewide election

Commentary: A fight for power in Sacramento tests boundaries of campaign finance law

In today’s world of the Internet, money is a way of life for most, and if you use it, you have to keep up with your responsibilities.

This is true even of politicians – for example, a U.S. congressman has a campaign account with his name and address on it, but not with any other identifying information. It’s more common in the world of California elections – with candidates often having two or three account names, each with an address and a different type of money, such as campaign fund money or campaign contributions.

That’s why, even with the recent passage of Proposition 29, a measure approved by voters in the statewide primary election of June 3, the law remains ambiguous. Proposition 29 was to make several changes to the state’s campaign finance law.

The first was requiring candidates to report campaign contributions, and require them to identify contributors to the total amount of campaign funds they received. Another provision, the “reporting” provision, requires that candidates’ names be placed on the ballot if they had $50,000 or more in contributions from any individual or political action committee or from any other entity.

While the law was to be changed, Proposition 29 left the reporting of contributors to the state’s campaign law, which is a different beast from the California system of campaign finance regulations, in place.

It might seem like a simple matter for Sacramento to change the law and make Proposition 29 apply to state candidates, which all of California’s political candidates are now subject to.

That, however, would do nothing to make this a ballot measure or make it apply in California.

Instead, the Proposition, which passed with 52.9 percent of the vote, has been placed on the statewide August 10 ballot as a referendum petition, a process that requires all those who wish to submit a petition to pay $120, a one-time fee, to the state Elections Department.

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