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California Watchdog Considers Rule Narrowing Secret Lobbying

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators are considering a plan to curb secret lobbying at the state Capitol.

The Fair Political Practices Commission plans to vote Thursday on narrowing a regulation that allows people to avoid identifying themselves as lobbyists by attending Capitol meetings as experts. They comply with current rules by working alongside lobbyists who are properly registered.

The regulation has faced scrutiny as a way for former lawmakers to skirt state rules requiring that they wait a year after leaving office to lobby their former colleagues.

FPPC Chairwoman Jodi Remke says people have used it as a loophole.

The agency sought the change after finding that former Assembly Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Cruz Bustamante was following the rule when he repeatedly lobbied after leaving office, but never reported it.