Cut Off Sanders' Matching Funds, Holden Demands : Politics: Councilman says foe should be denied more aid until ethics probe clears him.

Los Angeles Councilman Nate Holden demanded Friday that his political rival, attorney J. Stanley Sanders, be barred at present from receiving any more so-called matching funds to subsidize his council campaign.

In a letter to the city Ethics Commission, Holden said it is "ridiculous" for the commission to disburse matching funds to Sanders when the state Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating allegations that Sanders misused similar funds in his 1993 mayor's race. Until Sanders is cleared of wrongdoing, he should receive no more money, Holden said.

Ben Bycel, head of the Ethics Commission, declined to comment.

Sources have previously confirmed that the FPPC is looking into whether Sanders misused campaign funds in his mayoral campaign to pay business debts. In 1993, Sanders wrote a check for $53,490.01 to settle a protracted rent dispute with Mid-Wilshire Associates, the firm that rented Sanders his law office. The check was drawn against Sanders' mayoral campaign account.

Sanders has said he turned his law office into his campaign headquarters in 1993, and thus it was appropriate to pay the rent with political funds.

During his council campaign against Holden, Sanders has received $23,767 from the Ethics Commission-administered matching funds program. Holden did not apply to receive similar funds.

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