Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters says Democratic infighting has only begun.

The cost of gas, the cost of milk, the cost of everything seems to keep rising.

That includes currying favor with your favorite politician.

As it does every two years, the Fair Political Practices Commission will consider inflation-adjusted increases in campaign contribution limits at its meeting Thursday in San Diego. Maxing out toward the 2014 governor's race goes from $26,000 to $27,200 per election, while you can give $4,100 to each state lawmaker instead of $3,900.

The political watchdog agency also will consider a rule that requires more disclosure for campaign committees that spend more than $100,000 to circulate petitions in California. Under the change, such committees must disclose initiatives on their statement of organization.

Another change would require campaigns that distribute over 200 e-mails to disclose the candidate or committee's name on the missive. The FPPC says the change responds to a 2010 incident in which an attorney general candidate was attacked by an e-mailer claiming to be "the Hardy Boys" and "Nancy Drew."

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton becomes an octogenarian Saturday. But what do you give a Democrat who's already received the gifts of a legislative supermajority, tax increases and a Daily Show appearance?

Perhaps a table at his big bash Thursday night at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where longtime Burton friend Willie L. Brown will preside as master of ceremonies. Prices range from $1,000 for an individual ticket to $50,000 for a top-tier table, with proceeds going to The John Burton Foundation to help homeless youth.

If you still have money left after the Burton party and maxing out to candidates, you might consider stashing more away for your kids' college fund. The state Scholarshare Investment Board, which oversees California's 529 tax-advantaged college savings plan, will consider raising account limits Thursday from $350,000 per beneficiary to $371,000.

Bill Ainsworth, a spokesman for the state Treasurer and Scholarshare Investment Board Chairman Bill Lockyer, said the board will consider "upping the max based on the increasing costs of tuition."


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