By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 – 8:12 am
Attorneys representing an obscure Arizona nonprofit that spent $11 million this month on California initiative wars told a court Monday that the federal Citizens United campaign-speech ruling is one reason the group can shield its donors.
Americans for Responsible Leadership faces a lawsuit from the state Fair Political Practices Commission, which has demanded the group turn over transactions data related to an $11 million donation.
FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel said the commission is trying to determine whether the group violated California disclosure rules. The money went to a business committee fighting Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, Proposition 30, and supporting a measure restricting union dues collection, Proposition 32. Brown and the FPPC believe the group should have to disclose its donors before the election so voters can evaluate who is behind the campaign.
A Sacramento Superior Court judge delayed a court hearing until Wednesday to accommodate ARL’s Virginia-based lawyers, who faced travel and communications challenges due to Hurricane Sandy, said their spokesman Matt Ross.
In a 14-page brief, the group’s attorneys said the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling is one decision that shows “the indisputable notion that non-profit corporations have constitutional rights.”
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