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On the eve of the election, an Arizona group that provided $11 million in funding for an in-state organization backing the Proposition 32 measure to limit unions’ ability to collect political contributions through member payroll deductions and opposing Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase responded to an inquiry from the California Fair Political Practices Commission by admitting that it was just a front group to conceal the true source of the funds, which also passed through at least two other entities before arriving in California to be spent. The Commission says that failure to disclose the true source of the funds constitutes money laundering.

The money arrived in the coffers of the Small Business Action Committee by way of Americans for Responsible Leadership, a Phoenix, AZ based group. But that group was provided the money to pass on by the Center to Protect Patient Rights, also in Phoenix. The Center’s funding was further traced back to Americans for Job Security, an outfit located in Alexandria, VA described by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics as “pro-Republican,” “pro-business,” and “established to directly counter labor's influence.”

Daniel Newman, the co-founder and president of Maplight, which describes itself as “a nonpartisan research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics,” spoke with the Reader regarding the recent development.

“In fact, they still are anonymous,” he says of the original donors that provided the Small Business Action Committee with the funds in question, “despite the action that the state has taken so far.”

Although the recent disclosures have done more to cloud the waters than point fingers, Newman expects the Fair Political Practices Commission and state Attorney General to pursue “vigorous enforcement” of campaign disclosure and money laundering law.

“It’s my hope that they will pursue criminal penalties and not just fines, because obviously this group has money to spend,” said Newman. “Fines alone are not going to be a deterrent to future violators.”

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dwbat Nov. 6, 2012 @ 7:15 p.m.

Gov. Brown spoke about this yesterday, and he was very angry. So we can expect a thorough investigation, and hopefully there will be indictments.


SurfPuppy619 Nov. 6, 2012 @ 10:38 p.m.

They should have just come clean, but for some reason rich people don't like to follow the rules, or think they do not apply to them.

BUT that money did help defeat Prop 30 and I am thankful for that!


anniej Nov. 7, 2012 @ 7:36 a.m.

dwbat: unfortunately there are certain folks in sacramento who are flying under the radar but are in fact PART OF THE PROBLEM.

lets take a look at donations that affect elected officials from local candidates. and we, the people, wonder why when we reach out for help we are ignored.

much data is being gathered, and it is indeed very troubling.


anniej Nov. 7, 2012 @ 7:33 a.m.

Americans for responsible leadership - hmmmmm sounds similar to the group 'citizens for good government' that was led by bonny garcia (corruptor at law) and yuri calderon. garcia was the legal council for sweetwater school district at the time. apparently this was an attempt to influence the sweetwater board elections of 2010, but truth be told, there were other elections prior where similar groups had been set up. interestingly enough one of the main contributors to the 'citizens for good government' group was garcia's wife - using her maiden name i might add.

the year of 2010 saw unprecedented campaign donations from contractors and vendors that were doing business with or desiring to do business with sweetwater - the lure $644 million in bond dollars.

recently research into elections prior to 2010 have uncovered some very disturbing actions regarding donations in those campaigns as well, - no doubt the truth will come forward in the upcoming trials. many who have been flying under the radar no doubt will be exposed for who and what they really are. it appears with each election came a new "feel good name' group.

it is deeply troubling that rather than doing better more energy seems to be used in 'getting over'.


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