A Southern California assemblyman whose financial exchanges with Central Valley Republican fund-raising groups fell under a state investigation returned $31,000 to the Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee this week.
Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, steered $32,400 to the Stanislaus group June 29 and had the committee return $31,000 the next day to a committee he set up for a Senate run, which could have let some of his original donors contribute to the Senate race beyond what state law allows.
The Fair Political Practices Commission last month opened an investigation into that transaction and similar exchanges conducted between Anderson's campaign and Fresno and Placer counties' Republican central committees.
Two officers from the Placer committee stepped down because of the FPPC investigation, they told The Sacramento Bee.
Jim DeMartini, a Stanislaus County supervisor and chairman of the local Republican central committee, said no one would be asked to resign here. The committee treasurer is Gary McKinsey.
"I don't think (McKinsey) did anything improper, although I wish he would've run it by me," DeMartini said. McKinsey did not return a call for comment.
DeMartini said the committee received an unsolicited check from Anderson's campaign and then got a call asking for the money to be sent to the assemblyman's new political fund.
It wasn't clear at the time that Anderson had created the second fund for the Senate run, DeMartini said.
"He can't take the money from an Assembly account and put it into another account for him," DeMartini said.
DeMartini said the Stanislaus GOP would use the money from Anderson's campaign to support State Sen. Jeff Denham's bid for lieutenant governor, Ceres Mayor Anthony Cannella's effort to win Denham's Senate seat and whichever GOP candidate emerges to run for Sen. Dave Cogdill's Modesto-based seat.
Anderson has returned $78,000 to the Fresno County Republican Party and $31,400 to the Placer committee, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Bee Assistant City Editor Adam Ashton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2366.