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Watchdog agency approves $49,000 fine against Prop. 8 campaign

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The state’s campaign watchdog agency gave final approval Thursday to $49,000 in fines against the campaign committee for Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure banning gay marriage in California.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission determined that the campaign committee ProtectMarriage.com—Yes on 8 failed to properly file public reports disclosing late contributions and political checks over $5,000, as well as failing to properly dispose of an anonymous $10,000 contribution. An investigation concluded that more than $1 million in contributions was not properly reported.

The campaign committee admitted to the violations and agreed to pay the fines.

Los Angeles activist Ellen Sturtz called the fines "modest" and urged the commission to investigate further whether the campaign and a national group associated with it violated other laws and refer evidence to the U.S. Justice Department.

"I come here today, urging you to do your utmost to protect our democracy against those who have contempt for it, us and our laws," Sturtz told the commission.

However commission enforcement chief Gary Winuk said the investigation turned up no evidence of additional wrongdoing that would warrant further action.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Steve Ledoux, left, and his spouse, Mark Becktold, who were married before Proposition 8 was passed, are shown in February celebrating an appellate panel ruling striking down the measure. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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