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A pattern to 4 contributions to California Sec. of State

the San Francisco Chronicle reports: A San Francisco nonprofit group paid $108,000 from a state grant to two individuals and two companies who then made donations of nearly identical amounts to Kevin Shelley's successful 2002 campaign for California secretary of state.

The money came from a $500,000 taxpayer-financed grant that Shelley himself arranged in 2000 when he was majority leader in the Assembly.

The state awarded the grant to the San Francisco Neighbors Resource Center, a nonprofit organization founded to serve Asian immigrants by Julie Lee, a Shelley political ally who is also president of the city's Housing Authority commission.

The money was earmarked to pay for construction of a community center in the Sunset District, but the center was never built.

The donations to Shelley's campaign appear to raise questions about possible violations of state and federal laws. Under the state Political Reform Act, it is illegal to hide the true source of campaign contributions by channeling money through other donors. Under state law, it is illegal to use taxpayer money for political campaigns. Federal law also prohibits charities with tax-exempt status, like the center, from contributing to political campaigns. -- Secretary of State Shelley received dubious donations / S.F. nonprofit that got big state grant brokered by politician is linked to sources who gave $100,000 to his campaign (San Francisco Chronicle)