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Insurance exec gives state GOP $1 million to repeal Senate maps

October 26, 2011 | 10:51 am

The financial woes of the California Republican Party have been well documented. The state GOP had just over $200,000 in the bank as of July 1, but in recent days, it has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into an effort to repeal the new state Senate district lines drawn by an independent commission earlier this year.

The source of that money has been the source of some speculation in Capitol circles since it began moving late last week. Jeff Green, a spokesman for George Joseph, the head of Mercury Insurance, confirmed Tuesday that Joseph wrote the state party a $1-million check to specifically fund the state party's efforts to have those Senate district lines redrawn.

Green did not say why Joseph opposed the maps drawn by the commission. Even with the infusion of cash, the party is racing against the clock. It must collect more than 504,000 signatures for a potential referendum by Nov. 13, and GOP sources say they are paying up to $2 dollars per signature to try to meet the deadline.

If they are successful, the matter then goes before the state Supreme Court, which must decide whether to keep the lines drawn by the commission in place or to appoint new "special masters" to redraw those district boundaries.

--Anthony York in Sacramento

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