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The Latino Legislative Caucus today released a list of $50,000 in contributions interest groups have given to its nonprofit charitable fund since December.

As The Bee reported last week, the caucus stopped disclosing donors to the Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation two years ago. While the nonprofit group is not required by law to report its contributors, some good government watchdogs questioned the need for the secrecy and whether the lawmakers should be required to report donations they solicited for the fund.

Democratic Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, the chair of the 23-member caucus, released a list of seven groups that have given $5,000 or more to the foundation since he became the caucus leader last December.

"As it has become clear that other caucus foundations follow different disclosure practices in regard to their donors, as Chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus I believe that we should use the best practices of those caucuses and ensure full transparency regarding the Foundation's donors," the Artesia Democrat said in a statement. "I am in the process of advising all the members of the Latino Legislative Caucus that as we go forward the Foundation will practice full disclosure of its contributions."

The sum of money raised so far this year pales in comparison to the $250,000 the group reported receiving in 2009, the most recent year tax records were available. Those donors have yet to be disclosed.

Here is the list of contributions who Mendoza says have given to the group since December 2010:

• California Chamber of Commerce PAC $5,000
• California Real Estate PAC $10,000
• ConocoPhillips $10,000
• Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians $10,000
• Multistates Associates $5,000
• Sempra Energy $5,000
• Southern California Edison $5,000

Click here to read Jim Sanders' original story on the foundation, which was formed to educate the public on issues affecting members of the growing demographic group and promote Latino culture and civic participation..



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