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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