The ever-escalating war of words between state Sen. Carole Migden and California's Fair Political Practices Commission will move formally into the judicial realm today, with a lawsuit pitting the parties against one another reaching federal court.

Migden sued the FPPC and then agreed to pay a record fine for improperly using campaign funds. The FPPC then launched a $9 million countersuit. The Sacramento Bee outlines the resulting bickering between Migden, her political consultant Richie Ross and FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson, a longtime veteran of Sacramento brawls:

Johnson says the San Francisco Democrat is trying to "bully" the FPPC. Migden has accused Johnson of "Nixonian" behavior. Ross, no stranger to verbal warfare himself, contends a $9 million countersuit the FPPC filed against Migden is "retaliatory."

Bee columnist Dan Walters notes that Migden has also got cut up in the ongoing feud between Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, with Núñez seeking to give aid and comfort to Mark Leno, one of Migden's opponents in the June primary:

For months, Núñez and other Assembly leaders have been helping Leno push high-profile legislation while sidetracking Migden's bills. The Perata-led Senate has been treating Leno the same way.

The leadership duel went public as Núñez and designated successor Karen Bass urged delegates to endorse Leno because he has "made California the envy of the rest of the nation when it comes to changes in the areas of civil rights and the environment" and Migden's camp passed out "an important message" from Perata and his successor, Darrell Steinberg, urging delegates to "honor the decision of the regional caucus."