I’ve gotten a lot of responses to Thursday’s column. I’ll be on KPBS television’s Full Focus tonight at 6 p.m. to talk about it.

I wrote about a bill the California Assembly just unanimously passed that, if taken all the way, would prohibit local jurisdictions like San Diego from limiting the donations to political parties. After Proposition 34 passed in 2002, those donations exploded in popularity and girth. The political parties are able to use these unlimited funds to help a candidate tremendously.

That means they are effectively demolishing local campaign contribution limits.

I got this from a reader well-versed in the election and campaign system:

The bill passing through the Assembly is not a change in the law, it is a clarification. The drafters of Prop 34 never intended that local jurisdictions be able to modify the member communications provisions.

The problem is that the wording of the paragraph prohibiting the modifications was not clear. If you read it as the drafters wrote it, you get their point. But if you read it as the local jurisdictions read it, you get their point too. So the Ethics Commission, justifiably, went to the FPPC and said “please interpret this.” The Parties, concerned that the FPPC would attempt to “make law” vs. “interpret” decided to clarify the initial intent.

None of this changes the point of your article, which goes to the intent anyway…

No, but good perspective, thanks.

Hopefully you’ll tune in tonight. I’m discouraged at times, with the amount of people who seem to be interested in the crazy nuances of campaign finance law. But this stuff isn’t tinkering around the edges — it’s the very heart of how money is being raised now to fund major campaigns.


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