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Democratic political strategist Steve Maviglio and Republican blogger and state party official Jon Fleischman agree on political matters about as often as most Californians skinny dip with piranhas.

But that sound you hear is the two diving in together, figuratively speaking, against a Fair Political Practices Commission proposal meant to help voters identify campaign funds spent for blogging or social media.

Chairwoman Ann Ravel backed off an initial FPPC plan to require blogging websites to disclose money received from candidates or ballot measures. Her new push is to make such payments easier to identify in existing campaign disclosure documents.

Maviglio and Fleischman argue that the proposal is so broadly worded, however, that it could apply to a campaign aide who posts a single online comment, or to a field worker who tweets about distributing campaign literature on a weekend.

The FPPC plan would have a chilling effect because campaigns would bar aides from posting comments rather than undertake the hassle and expense of tracking and reporting each tweet or Facebook post, the two activists contend.

Nonsense, Ravel counters. Wording can be tightened, if necessary, but the intent is to make disclosure clear when campaigns pay for favorable online coverage - not to slap campaign aides or to discourage use of social media.

"People have a right to know if what they're reading as political support is, in fact, being paid for," Ravel said.

The proposal does not target this year's elections.

FPPC staff will hold a public hearing on the plan Tuesday.


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