State scrutinizes Fresno Co. Republican funds
Fresno Bee (2009-10-06) E.J. Schultz
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SACRAMENTO — The state’s political watchdog agency on Monday opened an investigation into campaign contributions made by the Fresno County Republican Party to a Southern California assemblyman.
“This is a staff-initiated investigation ... based on the variety of press accounts,” said Roman Porter, executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission.
Questions surround the similarity and timing of transactions between the Fresno County Republican Central Committee, a San Diego family and Assembly Member Joel Anderson, R-Alpine.
In the spring of this year, the GOP committee received $30,000 from members of the Hamann family, according to the committee's campaign filings. In the same time period, the committee gave a similar amount — $28,500 — to Joel Anderson, R-Alpine. Individual donors can't give more than $3,900 to legislative candidates, but political parties can give as much as they want. It is against the law to coordinate contributions to skirt limits.
The Central Committee gave some of the money to Anderson on the same day some of the Hamann donations were reported, according to filings with the Secretary of State.
Dr. A.P.S. Sidhu, chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party, said “everything was legal” and that the party will cooperate with the investigation. He said “I don’t know” why the Hamann family gave to the party.
“We receive checks from so many places,” he said.
Anderson’s office did not immediately return a call for comment.
The transactions were first reported by the the San Diego Union-Tribune, which noted that the Hamann family are frequent contributors to candidates in eastern San Diego County, including Anderson, who is expected to make a run for the state Senate.