The award for most innovative campaign financing this year goes to the organization backing the county split, Citizens for County Organization (CCO). According to CCO leader Jim Diani, a Santa Maria developer, everything the Measure H machine printed or broadcast about the split was purely informational. Meanwhile, the Coalition Against the County Split: No on Measure H, raised $32,200 since mid March, including $20,000 from the Service Employees International Union; $10,700 from veterinarian and liberal activist Doug Herthel; $2,000 in-kind for campaign staffing donated by PUEBLO; and $1,000 from Lompoc rancher Art Hibbits. Opponents filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission, which has yet to respond. Meanwhile, Diani has changd his tune, saying the group did not meet the minimum $1,000 reporting threshhold for campaign organizations.

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