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The Buzz: New California initiative donor ranking leaves out Steyer

Donor ranking omits Steyer

gift to Prop. 45 campaign

More than two years ago, liberal billionaire Tom Steyer gave $200,000 to the campaign supporting Proposition 45, a measure to give the state’s elected insurance commissioner more authority over health insurance rates.

That makes him the campaign’s fourth-largest donor, yet his name is not on a list of top-10 donors maintained by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

The FPPC recently launched an effort to post top donors to provide the kind of one-stop information-gathering impossible on the state’s clunky campaign-finance database.

But the FPPC relies on the campaigns to report directly to it and does not cross-check the information. An FPPC spokesman said the agency has contacted the Proposition 45 committee, which plans to send in an updated list of donors that will include Steyer.

“Our attorneys didn’t report it correctly, and as of Nov. 5 they will no longer be our attorneys,” said Jamie Court, president of the Consumer Watchdog advocacy group promoting Proposition 45. “They made us look bad. It’s a small thing, but it really bothers me.”

Laurel Rosenhall

Worth repeating

“If you look at the Chamber of Commerce, they’re one of the most liberal organizations on the planet.”

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Twin Peaks Republican, during a panel discussion

Capitol agenda

It’s a year for leadership changes under the dome: San Diego Democrat Toni Atkins became speaker in May, while Los Angeles Democrat Kevin de León is scheduled to take over as the state Senate president pro tem this month. Atkins and de León will join Public Policy Institute of California President Mark Baldassare today for a conversation about their leadership priorities and the issues they think lawmakers should address next session. The conversation begins at noon at Sheraton Grand Hotel on J Street.

Alexei Koseff