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California chief’s critics are ordered to register

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A taxpayer group based in Washington, D.C., that criticized Gov. Gray Davis' handling of the statewide energy crisis is now finding itself on the defensive.

A judge ruled on Monday that the American Taxpayers Alliance, which ran television ads criticizing the governor, must register as a political committee and identify its financial backers.

"Basically American Taxpayers Alliance has to play by the same rules that everybody else has to play by," said James Harrison, a San Francisco-based attorney representing the Davis re-election committee.

James Bopp, an Indiana-based attorney for the taxpayer group, said Monday it will appeal the ruling. He said the group is not a political committee.