« FEC opens hearings on 527's | Main | "Unusual Alliances" on 527 proposal »

Bustamante to pay $263,000 fine

California's second highest official will pay a record settlement of $263,000 for campaign funding violations in his run against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state electoral watchdog agency said on Tuesday.

The Fair Political Practices Commission sued Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante in January, accusing the Democrat of taking more than $4 million in illegal contributions during the state's recall election last year.

Allegations of financial improprieties had already hurt Bustamante during a campaign that elected political neophyte and action movie star Schwarzenegger to the state's top job.

The FPPC said Bustamante agreed to pay a total settlement of $263,000 for violations to three of his campaign committees that manipulated funds in an effort to evade contribution limits. A judge approved the settlement in court papers late on Monday and the FPPC announced the penalty on Tuesday. -- No. 2 Calif. Official Fined Over Campaign Funding (Reuters)