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New multi-state group pushes campaign disclosure

October 03, 2013|By Chris Megerian

SACRAMENTO -- California's top campaign finance watchdog announced Thursday a collaboration among multiple states to share information on enforcing disclosure rules.

The 10-state effort, which also includes New York City officials, was a goal of Ann Ravel, the chair of California's Fair Political Practices Commission who is soon leaving for a spot on the Federal Election Commission.

Ravel has repeatedly expressed her concern the federal government isn't doing enough to force disclosure of campaign donations, requiring states to step into the vacuum.

“For the first time, states and cities are banding together to share innovative ideas, strategies and legislation related to campaign finance,” she said in a statement Thursday. 

The collaboration is called States' Unified Network Center, or the SUN Center.

UC Irvine election law professor Rick Hasen praised Ravel for spearheading the effort, saying it's easy for anonymous political contributions to cross state lines.

“The FPPC has been a leader in pushing for effective campaign finance disclosure laws," he said. "This will add to those efforts and ensure it will be harder for people to hide their finances from reasonable regulation.”

Ravel gained attention last year for her pursuit of an Arizona nonprofit that contributed $11 million to two ballot campaigns and refused to disclose its donors.

While the nonprofit eventually revealed it received the money from two other nonprofits, those organizations don't disclose their donors either, and state authorities continue to investigate.


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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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