By Jim Miller

Suggestions that California adopt public campaign financing in response to a spate of Capitol corruption scandals are "the last refuge" of politicians who want to keep a corrupt status quo, secretary of state candidate Dan Schnur said Tuesday.

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Speaking to reporters in Sacramento, Schnur, a former Republican who has no party preference, said his proposed ban on political fundraising while the Legislature is in session is the best way to clean up a "Capitol culture of corruption."

"I don't care if you're the most meticulous record-keeper in the world. If you receive a really large campaign contribution six months before a key vote, it simply cannot have the same visceral emotional impact as if you receive that same check the night before a key vote or the morning of," said Schnur, who said he would be the state's "reformer in chief" if elected.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, floated the idea of public campaign financing during his floor speech Friday on a resolution to suspend Democratic senators Ron Calderon, Rod Wright and Leland Yee — one of Schnur's secretary of state rivals until shortly after his arrest on corruption and gun-running charges last week.