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California Jobs.jpgRepublican Assemblyman Dan Logue has opened a campaign account to raise cash for a 2014 state treasurer bid.

But don't expect to see the Marysville Republican hitting the campaign trail any time soon.

He's not actually running.

In fact, Logue said he expects a statewide campaign to be "the last thing I do" when he leaves the Assembly due to term limits at the end of next year.

"I have no plans to run for treasurer," Logue told The Bee. "I'm using that to raise some resources to help some colleagues to bring more pro-business candidates to Sacramento down the road."

Logue acknowledged that his setup could allow donors to essentially donate to GOP candidates twice -- once directly and once through a transfer of funds given to his campaign account -- circumventing campaign contribution limits. But he said he saw the move as necessary to protect the interests of businesses.

"I am absolutely terrified that the Democratic majority is going to dismantle the business formula in Sacramento and make it even worse than it is now," he said. "So I'm really committed to making sure small business has a voice in Sacramento, and this is how I'm doing it."

Logue isn't alone. It's fairly common -- and legal -- for lawmakers or other could-be candidates to open accounts to park leftover money from a previous campaign or raise cash for a possible run down the road, regardless of whether they end up seeking that seat. Sen. Mark Leno, for example, has just joined the growing club of Democratic lawmakers raising cash for a 2018 lieutenant governor run.

Phillip Ung, policy advocate for California Common Cause, criticized the practice as "an abuse of the spirit of the contribution limits." While he wants to see more rules governing the creation and use of what he calls "political slush funds," Ung did find one silver lining in Logue's case.

"I guess I can applaud him for his honesty," he said.

PHOTO CREDIT: Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue discusses the upcoming trip to Texas next week to hear from businesses that left California, during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press.


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