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California DemocratsCalifornia Legislature

FPPC attorney recommends lawmakers face contribution limits in recall fight

Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The top attorney for the state’s campaign watchdog agency recommended Monday that it deny a request to boost the limit for contributions to a highly charged recall election.

Democrats had asked the Fair Political Practices Commission to allow elected officials to donate more than $4,400 each to a committee defending Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) against a recall effort.

The FPPC has said for years that the limit applies to recalls, but Richard R. Rios, an attorney for the Senate Democratic Caucus, argued there should not be one.

The panel will meet July 27 to consider a recommendation by Jack Woodside, its general counsel, to deny the request for a new opinion lifting the limit.

“The FPPC’s interpretation … is well – reasoned and legally sound,” Woodside wrote in a memo. “Indeed, the FPPC’s position is based on the plain language, legislative history, and policies of the relevant statutes.

“More importantly, the transfer restriction has been in place and applied to every recall since 2003,” he added. “And Mr. Rios provides no basis to suggest the FPPC’s interpretation needs to be reversed.”

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