SACRAMENTO -- California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer recently said he was retiring from public office next year, so how does he explain filing papers this week to form a campaign committee for a possible run for lieutenant governor in 2018?
He probably won't run for lieutenant governor in 2018, but the filing allows him to keep his large political war chest in play to influence elections of other candidates, a spokesman said.
As many other politicians have done, Lockyer is exploiting a much-criticized loophole in the campaign finance law so he can continue to use more than $2.2 million in surplus campaign funds after he leaves office next year.
Normally, an elected official would have to close his campaign committee no later than nine
months after the date he leaves office or the term of office ends.
But many politicians form new committees for offices they do not intend to seek so they can continue to have use of the money for years to come. That way they can contribute to candidates and causes using political funds rather than personal funds.
"His decision to retire from elective office stands," spokesman Tom Dresslar said. "He hasn’t changed his mind. But at this point he doesn’t want to completely foreclose any options in 2018."
"Besides, to make sure he can continue using the money to support select candidates and causes beyond 2014 he was gonna have to transfer his campaign funds to a new committee eventually. He decided the sooner the better," Dresslar said.