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Attorney general appoints Oakland attorney to state ethics panel

March 11, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy | This post has been updated. See note below for details.

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has appointed Eric Casher, an experienced trial attorney who served on a fundraising panel for President Obama, to the state Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces campaign-finance and conflict-of-interest laws.

Casher, a 34-year-old Berkeley resident, practices law at Meyers Nave in Oakland. The firm serves as the municipal attorney for more than 40 cities and special districts.  

Casher, who received his law degree from UC Hastings, has represented public and private developers, design professionals, general contractors and government agencies, according to the firm’s website.

He said he joins the ethics panel without having in mind any specific changes to campaign laws, but "I am committed to helping ensure that the political process in California is as fair and transparent as possible."

He is becoming part of a commission that is in flux -- one of three new members of a five-person panel.

"Eric's commitment to justice, fairness and the rule of law will make him a strong asset on the Fair Political Practices Commission,” Harris said.

Phillip Ung, an advocate for California Common Cause, noted that Casher has had experience in the political world.

"Mr. Casher has a keen understanding of how regulations affect donors, and [of] fundraising operations of candidates as someone who served on the president’s national fundraising committee,'' Ung said. "However, our hope is he will serve on the commission on behalf of voters who have grown cynical about government because of the undue influence of money in politics.''

[Updated 2:05 pm, March 11: Later Monday, Secretary of State Debra Bowen appointed Patricia Wynne, who is retiring this month after 30 years of government service, to fill the last vacancy on the Fair Political Practices Commission. Wynne is an attorney who is a deputy state treasurer overseeing state financing bodies including the California Health Financing Authority and California School Financing Authority and chairs the Local Agency Investment Board, Bowen said. 

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of having an aggressive, proactive, independent political watchdog, which is why I am so pleased Tricia has accepted this appointment to the FPPC,” Bowen said in a statement.]

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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