Prop. 208 Supporters Seek Political Watchdog's Ouster

From Associated Press

Backers of a campaign finance reform initiative, angry at comments at a recent ethics seminar for lobbyists, on Wednesday urged Gov. Pete Wilson to fire the state's political watchdog.

"We cannot remain mute while the chair of the [Fair Political Practices Commission] wages war against campaign finance reform as adopted by the voters," said a letter to Wilson signed by Fran Packard, head of the League of Women Voters of California, and Jim Knox, executive director of California Common Cause.

The commission, which enforces the state's Political Reform Act, is chaired by Ravi Mehta, an appointee of the governor.

Other signatories to the letter included Tony Miller, a proponent of Proposition 208 and a former interim secretary of state, and Ruth Holton, former director of California Common Cause.

They were complaining about Mehta's appearance Friday at an ethics orientation course for lobbyists at which he said Proposition 208 was unconstitutional and criticized the measure.

The letter accused Mehta of "becoming an adversary, rather than a defender, of the very law he is charged with implementing."

Mehta declined to comment on the letter, a commission spokesman said. There was no immediate response from the governor's office.

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