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Crusader against fundraisers holds one of her own

March 24, 2010 |  3:11 pm

State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) was delivered an unexpected treat at her Sacramento fundraiser Wednesday: a cake with a sarcastic inscription in icing. "Having Your Cake and Eating It Too?'' it said.

It was a not so subtle jab from opponents of Proposition 15, the ballot measure Hancock wrote to blunt the influence of special interest money. The Hancock proposal would provide public campaign funding for some elections. The cake deliverers said Hancock's event, where she planned to collect donations of up to $3,900 from representatives of special interests, is the kind of thing she has been railing against.

"Even by Sacramento standards, the hypocrisy is astonishing," said Richard Wiebe,  a spokesman for StopProp15.com. "She's taking full advantage of the system she characterizes as the root of all that is evil in the Capitol."  

Hancock acknowledged that lobbyists were at her fundraiser but disputed the criticism from the foes. "If there were public financing, I wouldn't be doing it," she said. "In the meantime, while I am trying to change the rules, I am following the rules."

The measure on the June ballot would raise fees on lobbyists to help fund the campaigns of candidates for secretary of state in the 2014 and 2018 elections. Candidates could collect the public money only if they volunteered to abide by strict spending limits and raise a large number of $5 contributions from state residents.

--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento