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California: committee returns $1.75 million to governor's committee

AP reports: A campaign committee backing Proposition 77, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to take the powerful job of drawing legislative and congressional districts away from lawmakers, has returned $1.75 million donated by the Republican governor.

The ballot measure's opponents said Schwarzenegger's contributions exceeded limits imposed by voters in 2000. They said the donations violated Proposition 34's restrictions and suggested their preparations to file a lawsuit prompted the return of the money.

"The governor is so eager to grab power, he's willing to break the law to do it," Lance Olson, an attorney for Californians for Fair Representation, the committee fighting Proposition 77, said Thursday.

A spokesman for Schwarzenegger's campaign, Todd Harris, said the governor's aides asked for the money back because they didn't want to "push the limits" of Proposition 34.

The money will be used in other ways to support several Nov. 8 ballot measures backed by the governor, including Proposition 77, said Tom Hiltachk, an attorney for Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team campaign committee. -- AP Wire | 10/06/2005 | Redistricting committee returns $1.7 million from governor