Rep. Kevin Kiley faces complaint over Prop. 47 overhaul contributions

The former chair of the Federal Election Commission has filed a complaint against a California congressman, alleging he excessively used campaign funds to support a conservative coalition seeking to roll back parts of Proposition 47.

“I’ve never seen anything quite this excessive, honestly,” Ann Ravel told The Times. She served as chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission in 2011 and as chair of the FEC from 2013 to 2017.

In her FEC complaint, Ravel alleges that Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), who is up for reelection this year, has solicited and spent congressional funds in excess of the $5,000 legal limit to support the tough-on-crime initiative to reform Proposition 47, which reduced some drug and theft felonies to misdemeanors. Kiley spent $28,000 on petitions and mailing costs, according to the complaint, but Ravel alleges that is “likely not the full extent” of his financial support.

Kiley’s team did not respond to The Times’ request for comment.

The initiative seeks to “reverse Prop. 47” by increasing penalties for some property crimes and drug offenses. It is supported primarily by conservative groups but also by some Democrats. The deadline for proponents to collect enough signatures to qualify the initiative for the November ballot is April 23.

Ravel said Kiley has “long been closely identified with the repeal of Proposition 47,” which voters approved in 2014, and has a close relationship with the initiative’s sponsor, the coalition California to Reduce Homelessness, Drug Addiction and Theft.

The coalition has received more than $3 million from corporate retailers, including Walmart, Macy’s, Home Depot and Target. One of Kiley’s biggest campaign donors is Walmart, according to Ravel’s complaint.

Kiley represents California’s 3rd District. He previously served in the state Assembly from 2016 to 2022 and was a challenger to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in the failed 2021 recall effort.

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