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Anti-Prop. 30 PAC Gets $11M Donation

An Arizona nonprofit donates $11 million to the Small Business Action Committee PAC, which opposes Proposition 30 and supports Proposition 32.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday lashed out at a campaign committee opposed to his November ballot measure to fund education for accepting an $11 million donation from what he called a "shadowy" Arizona nonprofit that refuses to disclose its donors.

Brown called the donation "an obvious attempt to subvert the democratic process."

The Small Business Action Committee PAC opposes Brown's Proposition 30, an income tax increase on wealthy Californians and a quarter-cent sales tax increase, and supports Proposition 32, a measure aimed at curtailing organized labor's political spending power by banning all payroll deductions for political uses.

The committee this week received an $11 million donation from an Arizona nonprofit called Americans for Responsible Leadership.

The group was formed in 2011 and previously had spent only about $600,000 in Arizona.

Nonprofits are not legally mandated by federal law to disclose where they get their money, but the California Fair Political Practices Commission enacted a rule in May that requires nonprofits to disclose who their donors are when the donors gave money to target specific issues.

"Between now and well before the election day, I demand that this shadowy committee from Arizona come out of the shadows and identify who are the big donors," Brown told City News Service. "That Arizona committee didn't find the $11 million on a street corner. These are very wealthy people or super PACS or corporations, who have engaged in a very conscious scheme to subvert the election laws of California."

Americans for Responsible Leadership and the Small Business Action Committee PAC did not return requests for comment.

The nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint today with the Fair Political Practices Commission, asking the commission to subpoena the Small Business Action Committee PAC.

Philip Ung, a policy analyst with Common Cause, said the Arizona group's pattern of spending "would be suspicious to a college accounting student."

"The FPPC must not fail Californians now by looking the other way while cloaked operatives secretly launder millions of dollars in campaign funds," Ung said.

FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel said her staff will decide by early next week if the commission has jurisdiction to look into the complaint.

Subsequently, Ravel said, the FPPC will move quickly to open an investigation or ask a judge to halt the committee's spending money until it is determined whether the committee violated state campaign finance regulations.

Ravel called the contribution "extraordinary" on the state level.

"This is absolutely what the FPPC takes very seriously. It is such a large contribution that the info about the donors should be disclosed and should be public. Whether or not we have the authority is something we're looking at right now," Ravel said.

Soquel Creek October 20, 2012 at 08:29 AM
I don't like a shadowy out-of-state organization attempting to influence California politics anymore than I like two state-mandated, government-paid, public-sector unions affecting California politics. QUESTION 1: According to the CA Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), who are the top two spenders in California politics? ANSWER 1: 1. California Teachers Association (CTA) 2. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Both are public-sector employee unions. Employees are paid using taxpayer dollars. CHART: The 15 Biggest Spenders in California Politics http://www.twitpic.com/75tc0v/full REPORT: California Fair Political Practices Commission "Big Money Talks: The 15 Special Interests that Spent $1 Billion to Shape California Government" (March 2010) http://www.fppc.ca.gov/reports/Report31110.pdf QUESTION 2: According to California Common Sense, who were the top two spenders on shadowy indepedent expenditure (IE) groups in California politics between 2000-20012? ANSWER 2: 1. California Teachers Association (CTA) 2. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) CHART: Top 25 Contributors to Independent Expenditure Spenders in California Politics (2000-2012) http://www.twitpic.com/b5cxs4 REPORT: California Common Sense "Independent Expenditures: The New Money in California Politics" http://cacs.org/images/dynamic/articleAttachments/21.pdf
Soquel Creek October 20, 2012 at 08:29 AM
QUESTION 3: Who are the two biggest funders supporting Proposition 30 tax hikes on all Californians? ANSWER 3: According to publicly available campaign disclosures as of 10/16/2012: http://votersedge.org/california/ballot-measures/2012/november/prop-30/funding 1. California Teachers Association (CTA): $8.2 MILLION 2. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) : $8.6 MILLION QUESTION 4: Who are the two biggest funders against Proposition 32, which seeks to limit undue influence from corporations and unions in California politics? ANSWER 4: According to publicly available campaign disclosures as of 10/16/2012: http://votersedge.org/california/ballot-measures/2012/november/prop-32/funding 1. California Teachers Association (CTA): $20.5 MILLION 2. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) : $11.6 MILLION Even career Democrats recognize the problem! Here's what Willie Brown, California's longest-serving Assembly Speaker and former Mayor of Sacramento wrote recently. http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/2012/09/californias-willie-brown-on-pension.html "The world is changing. Years ago it was the likes of Southern Pacific and other big businesses calling the shots in Sacramento, and we were all highly critical of them. "These days it's labor. That's not the portrayal union leaders like to see in the media, but it's the truth."
Soquel Creek October 20, 2012 at 08:41 AM
What's also amazing here is the Governor Brown is complaining about an $11 MILLION contribution that BOTH opposes Proposition 30 tax hikes and supports Proposition 32 limits on campaign spending by corporations and unions. Up until early October, California's public-sector unions had a HUGE cash advantage. The public-sector unions support Proposition 30 tax hikes and oppose Proposition 32 limits to campaign spending. Despite the $11 MILLION influx from a shadowy donor and a $23 MILLION donor from Californian Charles Munger, the public-sector unions STILL have a major cash advantage. Proposition 30 Funding http://votersedge.org/california/ballot-measures/2012/november/prop-30/funding Proposition 32 Funding http://votersedge.org/california/ballot-measures/2012/november/prop-32/funding Note that the $11 MILLION from Americans for Responsible Leadership and the $23 MILLION from Charles Munger is counted twice as it's one committee that both opposes Proposition 30 and support Proposition 32. The entire fiasco shows the merit of Proposition 32 limits.
Milan Moravec October 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Prop 30, 38 facts are friendly. Create California’s future. Vote No on Prop 30, 38, 32. Keep the California dream alive and well. Decisions you make on Nov 6 determine California’s course for years. We are kidding ourselves by believing that education funding shortfalls disappear with Prop 30, Prop 38. Prop 30, Prop 38 levy significant taxes on each one of us. The wounds that Prop 30, 38 are to heal have been self inflicted largely by our elected Sacramento politicians who simply do not say no to any influential interest group be they, University of California (29% increase in salaries last 6 years), public employees, business, teachers, or other unions or lobbyists. And now Prop 30, 38 are used by Sacramento politicians and lobbyists to blackmail us
bev October 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM
fool me once, my fault. fool me twice - how did bush tell it? bill bloomfield and craig huey support prop 32. hey - bill may be an independent for the past year or so - and cofounder of No Labels - but that doesn't mean he's not a super pac boy. no labels does not and prop 32 will not have to divulge their cotributions or contributors - coming or going. sorry, bill - and craig: fool us once, our fault. fool us twice? still our fault. these guys aren't sincerely there for US.
bev October 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
oops - did i neglect to mention that bill contributed $300,000 to prop 32? and his mom, another half million? bill owns several businesses. why would he - as a new independent - and if elected - not want the people of our district to know who supports his causes - actually, they'd be our causes at that point, wouldn't they? why hide behind prop 32's exclusions for big businesses? isn't that one of the reasons he 'quit' - so it's claimed - the republican party to which he's donated $millions the past few years? nope - this is already a muddied independent. no bill - or we, the middle classes and workers - will be billed for it...
Tim Sole October 21, 2012 at 02:29 AM
So, Bev, how much were you paid by either Waxmen or the Democrats to post this? The "Gallup Poll" is quite interesting right now, you should read it. Sorry, but your boy needs to go away, no democrat would ever post something like this without getting greased, it's the union way.......

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