Report: Campaign-finance loopholes abound

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Politicians continue to find loopholes in campaign-finance laws to raise millions of dollars in unregulated contributions, according to a report issued Tuesday.

The Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles found that legal defense funds and leadership committees, charitable donations, contributions from political parties and reimbursed travel expenses are among the “loopholes, tricks and end runs” used to sidestep regulations.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger raised more than $6.5 million in the first six months of 2009, including 23 contributions of $100,000 or more, despite donations to governors and gubernatorial candidates being limited to $25,900 per election cycle, according to the report.

Adam Mendelsohn, a political spokesman for the governor, told the AP that Schwarzenegger has a history of taking positions that are contrary to many of his supporters if they are in the best interest of the state.

Money flowed through Schwarzenegger’s California Dream Team, a general-purpose political fund that has been used to pay for ballot-measure campaigns. Mendelsohn added that the governor has repeatedly called for campaign-finance reform since taking office in 2003.

The report recommended a comprehensive model law to plug the loopholes and control the flow of money into politics.

The center spent one year reviewing political fundraising and spending nationwide. It found that loopholes were used even in states that had taken steps to control donations.

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Written by Christopher Cadelago

December 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

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