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California agency considers changing campaign finance rules

The state's political watchdog agency last week began an effort that could change California's campaign finance regulations to prevent candidates from raising limitless funds to oppose or support ballot measures.

The Fair Political Practices Commission said Thursday it would consider several options to prevent fund-raising practices that prompted complaints during the fall recall election.

Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante avoided fund-raising limits that apply to candidates by forming a separate committee to oppose a racial privacy initiative that appeared on the same ballot as his candidacy for governor.

The move allowed him to raise individual contributions far in excess of the $21,200 limit that applies to gubernatorial candidates.

Changing the rules also could halt Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's practice of raising millions of dollars for his California Recovery Team, a committee that raises money for the Republican governor's political projects -- including his successful bond measure and a potential ballot effort to change workers' compensation laws. -- State agency eyes ballot-funding rule changes (Sacramento Bee via Contra Costa Times)