Campaigns against Prop. 8 fined $80,000 for reporting violations

Three political committees that fought a 2008 ballot measure banning gay marriage in California have agreed to pay $80,000 in fines to the state ethics agency after admitting they violated campaign finance rules.

The fines come less than a month after the state Fair Political Practices Commission levied $49,000 in fines against -- Yes on 8 for failing to properly report more than $1 million in contributions.

Altogether, the fines against the four political committees on both sides of the issue represent some of the largest penalties imposed over a ballot measure in California, and a reflection of how hard-fought and bitter a contest it was, officials said.

"An unprecedented number of contributions" hindered the ability of the campaigns to report them all within strict deadlines, said Steve Mele, treasurer for the campaign committee No on 8, Equality for All. That campaign agreed to pay $42,500 in fines for failing to meet deadlines for reporting $724,000 in contributions.

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-- Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

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