County Campaign Finance Measure Passes

County voters have approved a ballot measure that would allow agencies other than the District Attorney to enforce Orange County’s campaign finance limits for county-level offices, according to results from the county Registrar of Voters.

Measure E gives the county Board of Supervisors authority to contract with the state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to enforce local campaign finance laws in Orange County.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Measure E was approved with 56 percent of the vote.

The measure is the result of widespread frustration over what many say is lax enforcement of local campaign finance laws by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. The thinking is that the FPPC would offer more consistent regulation.

Local campaign finance watchdog Shirley Grindle harshly criticized the ballot language, saying it inaccurately refers to the FPPC as the “Ethics Commission.” This upsets Grindle and others who have long pushed for an independent local ethics commission to no avail.

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