The Nation: Reform Season

California voters next month will have a chance to approve one of the most detailed and stringent political-reform proposals ever written. Proposition 9 on the primary ballot would regulate questionable lobbying practices and the financial conduct of officials once they have gained office. It would also cover campaign contributions and spending.

The measure provides, among other things, for setting up a state fair political practices commission with broad investigative powers, mandatory reporting of all campaign contributions over $50, and a per capita limit on the amount that each candidate may spend to attract voters. A tough conflict-of-interest provision would require all...

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