SACRAMENTO — Candidates in 20 local elections, including Los Angeles, were chosen by lot Tuesday to have their campaign contribution and spending reports audited by the state Franchise Tax Board, the first time such extensive audits will be conducted at the local level.
Los Angeles was selected second on a priority list of 20 cities, counties, school districts and special districts in the random drawing conducted by the Fair Political Practices Commission.
The Franchise Tax Board already does random audits of selected Assembly and Senate races. The program is being expanded to include local governments as the result of a state law passed last year to step up scrutiny of campaign fund-raising and spending practices in local elections.
A tax board spokeswoman said the Legislature appropriated about $200,000 for the local election audits and that the audits will be halted if the money runs out before the work is completed. "I would think they would get to the city of Los Angeles because they are No. 2 on the list," said Lynette Iwafuchi, public affairs officer.
In Los Angeles, the last full primary and general election cycle is scheduled for auditing, which means the 1985 city election, including odd-numbered council seats and the mayoral race.
Others named in the drawing and their priority rankings are Santa Barbara County, 5; Escondido, 8; Santa Barbara, 12, Orange County, 14, and San Diego County, 17. The tiny Three Cents Flat Community Services District in Calaveras County also was selected.