$11 million donation

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What’s Known About the Groups Behind the $11 Million ‘Money Laundering’

(401(K) 2012: Flickr)

(401(K) 2012: Flickr)

Here’s what we can glean about the groups that funneled $11 million into California to try to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure — Prop. 30 —  and to pass Prop. 32 — which would limit unions’ ability to raise political funds:

The state Fair Political Practices Commission announced earlier today that Americans for Responsible Leadership, the Arizona group that last month made the $11 million contribution to a California PAC, had identified the “true source” of the donation: a Virginia-based group called Americans for Job Security. That organization in turn funneled the money back to Americans for Responsible Leadership through yet another group, the Center to Protect Patient Rights. We cannot find a website for it. The Center’s address is listed as a P.O. box in Phoenix.

Completely lost? Let’s review the steps — steps which the FPPC characterizes as “campaign money laundering” under California law:

  1. Americans for Job Security (Virginia) sent money to the Center to Protect Patient Rights (P.O. box in Phoenix)
  2. The Center to Protect Patient Rights sent it to Americans for Responsible Leadership (Arizona)
  3. Americans for Responsible Leadership in turn sent $11 million to the Small Business Action Committee PAC, here in California. One might assume the PAC lost no time in dumping the money into TV ads to defeat Prop. 30 and to pass Prop. 32. The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert lays out the money trail, complete with dates.
(T)he money trail in a case like this $11 million contribution to the California initiative campaigns leads not to individuals, but to a few organizations that are impervious to public scrutiny.

Now we have the names of the committees involved. How about the people or companies who were the source of the money in the first place? We’re in the dark about that, thanks to federal law and court rulings that allow a wide spectrum of political donors to keep their identities secret. Continue reading

Watchdog Agency Accuses Arizona Group of ‘Money Laundering’

(401(K) 2012: Flickr)

(401(K) 2012: Flickr)

The California Fair Political Practices Commission released a statement Monday morning saying the Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership violated California law by engaging in “campaign money laundering.”

As the Los Angeles Times reports:

In a stunning reversal, an obscure Arizona nonprofit at the center of a legal battle over secret political contributions released on Monday morning the identity of its contributors, which it had been fighting tooth and nail to keep secret.

But the disclosure did little to shed light on who was behind the $11-million donation to a California campaign fund. The Arizona group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, identified its contributors only as other nonprofits. Continue reading