Turns out that the Arizona group contributing $11 million to defeat Prop 30, the measure that would increase taxes, and support Prop 32, the measure that would ban union payroll deductions for political contributions, comes from two nonprofits with ties to conservative causes. One is the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which is run by a former operative of David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who have fiercely gone after President Obama. The other group is Americans for Job Security, which is described as a nonprofit "business league." We know this because the California courts required the Arizona group to turn over donor information to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. The commission accused the Arizona group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, of money laundering. From the Sacramento Bee:
The Fair Political Practices Commission said in a release this morning that Americans for Responsible Leadership "sent a letter declaring itself to be the intermediary and not the true source of the contribution." "Under California law, the failure to disclose this initially was campaign money laundering," FPPC wrote. "At $11 million, this is the largest contribution ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history."
From the Mercury News:
The Arizona group is a 501(c)4 nonprofit advocacy organization, which under IRS rules does not have to reveal donors' names. These groups have become prominent in this election cycle as hundreds of millions of dollars in political cash was unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision to allow unlimited corporate spending in campaigns. As corporations and wealthy individuals became more involved, they have sought to keep their names concealed and have found the nonprofit groups an effective conduit to wielding influence without the potential backlash from consumers.