Harris' complaint against Republican group dismissed after one day

Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 28, 2010, 3:59pm


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - The California Fair Political Practices Commission has dismissed a complaint by the state's Democratic attorney general candidate, Kamala Harris, against an out-of-state Republican fundraising group.

On Tuesday, the commission shot down Harris' complaint against the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee for running a television ad attacking the San Francisco District Attorney on her opposition to the death penalty, according to the Los Angeles Times' PolitiCal blog.

Harris announced on Monday her campaign was taking legal action against the group, which paid for an attack ad on Harris.

One of the group's contributors is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform owns Legal Newsline.

The ad itself attacks Harris on the death penalty -- she has said it is unjust and immoral -- and a decision she made as a district attorney not to bring capital charges against a man who killed San Francisco Police Officer Isaac Espinoza in 2004.

An attorney for the Harris campaign argued that the commercial falls within state laws regulating independent expenditure campaigns and requires major donors to be disclosed in the ad.

According to the Times' blog, Gary S. Winuk, chief of the commission's enforcement division, sent a letter to Harris' attorney stating that the complaint "did not contain sufficient evidence to allege a violation of the Political Reform Act."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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