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Independent groups backing Allen pour nearly $500,000 into Assembly race

Two independent expenditure committees poured in nearly $500,000 to support Michael Allen in the waning days of his campaign against a fellow Democrat for a newly-drawn state Assembly seat, records show.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California kicked in $252,000, and the California Alliance put in another $238,000.

The alliance is comprised of consumer attorneys, conservationists and nurses. The money was spent on television ads opposing Marc Levine, who on Friday criticized the expenditures.

"They are desperate to distract the voters from Allen's history of ethics problems and putting himself ahead of public service," the San Rafael councilman said. "The voters of Sonoma and Marin will see past these deceptive attacks."

Allen, D-Santa Rosa, refused comment on Friday. He has not made himself available for an interview with The Press Democrat in more than a month.

Independent expenditure committees have contributed more than $700,000 in support of Allen, who recently moved to San Rafael so he could run for the 10th Assembly District seat.

He and Levine are vying to represent residents of Marin County, part of Santa Rosa and portions of western and southern Sonoma County.

Levine also received a boost from two independent expenditure committees that combined contributed more than $250,000 in opposition of Allen.

The money came from the Western Growers Association and California Citrus Mutual.

Western Growers opposed Allen's bill that would have given farmworkers the right to overtime pay after they work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours a week. The bill, which was backed by the United Farm Workers union, was rejected in August by the Assembly.

(You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.)


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