California’s Watergate-era political reform law to get a 21st century update

The California State flag.
The California State flag. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California’s political watchdog agency has started work on reforming political reform in Sacramento.

A new 25-member task force working under the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is reviewing the state’s law on political donations and campaign practices. The panel met for the first time Monday in Sacramento.

Their goal is to update the Political Reform Act - the state law that California adopted when they passed 1974's Proposition 9 during the Watergate era. The act also created the FPPC.

FPPC Director Dan Schnur spoke today with KPCC’s Larry Mantle on "AirTalk." The one-time aide to former Gov. Pete Wilson says the law needs an update.

"Campaigns are run in a much different way in 2010 than they were in 1974," said Schnur. "And making sure that the rules are updated so that a Californian, either as a candidate or as a contributor or just as a voter, can be confident that the rules reflect the reality of the campaigning in the 21st century in this age of online technology, that’s what we’re trying to accomplish here."

The task force that will update the state’s political reform law will meet once a month. It includes FPPC staffers, campaign consultants, prosecutors and former lawmakers. The task force expects to present recommendations in January.

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