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Calif. donors use 527 groups to bypass regulations

Ronald Campbell of The Orange County Register analyzed California campaign finance data to find that the top 100 donors gave more than $150 million to candidates and political committees in 2003 and 2004. Donors also helped put California in the stem-cell business. "Some 26 wealthy couples and individuals contributed more than half the campaign money for Proposition 73, the state's $3 billion bet on the biotechnology frontier." Individual donors got around campaign finance legislation by writing their checks to so-called 527 groups, which operate outside normal campaign-finance rules.

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