California Democratic Party Charges Meg Whitman Campaign With Collusion in New Chamber of Commerce Attack Ads

FPPC Complaint Cites Relationship Between Whitman Campaign Chairman Pete Wilson and California Chamber of Commerce and Alleges Violation of In-Kind Contribution Limits

Sacramento – The California Democratic Party today announced it would be filing an FPPC complaint against GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman after an organization linked to Whitman’s campaign began running television ads attacking her Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.

The California Chamber of Commerce, which counts Whitman campaign chairman Pete Wilson among its board members, began a statewide ad campaign which is estimated to exceed $1 million, far in excess of the in-kind contribution limits set in place by the state’s election laws. Under Proposition 34, in-kind contributions to candidates must not exceed $25,900.

The complaint alleges that Whitman chairman Pete Wilson participated in the decision to fund the television ads by the Chamber of Commerce.

"This sleazy attack ad is obviously being done at the behest of the Meg Whitman campaign," said John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party. "Pete Wilson is the chairman of the Whitman campaign and he also sits on the board of directors of the California Chamber of Commerce. Clearly, there is collusion taking place and the intent couldn’t be plainer: to circumvent California law with regard to in-kind contributions."

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