SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s campaign finance watchdog is opening an investigation into the state Democratic Party after a consumer advocacy group alleged the party illegally funnels money from oil companies to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The Fair Political Practices Commission told Consumer Watchdog Friday that it will open an investigation in response to information the group presented in August.
Consumer Watchdog claims the Democratic governor used the state party as “a political slush fund to receive contributions from unpopular energy companies.” It based the complaint on emails from oil executives and lobbyists obtained through public records requests.
The group asked the FPPC to determine if the party earmarks donations to bypass contributions limits. Political parties are allowed to give more money to candidate than individuals can.
The FPPC says it is not investigating Brown.
This story has been corrected to delete references to emails sent to the governor.