California Governor Jerry Brown (AP/Reed Saxon)

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
October 20, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday accused opponents of his Nov. 6 ballot measure to raise taxes of illegal money laundering, saying the committee that accepted an $11 million donation from an out-of-state group is shielding the identities of its donors because it is ashamed of them.

“I think it’s crucial to find out about this stuff, and I think the law of California is violated in this respect: A committee, when it gets money, particularly of $11 million, has a duty to understand where it comes from,” Brown told reporters after speaking to members of the California Teachers Association at a campaign event here. “Is this money from a foreign source? That’s illegal. Is it money from terrorists? That’s illegal. Or what? So, in order to assure yourself that everything is up and up, you’ve got to find out where it is.”

Brown’s remarks came after an Arizona-based group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, donated $11 million this week to the Small Business Action Committee PAC, which opposes Brown’s tax measure, Proposition 30, and supports a controversial campaign finance measure, Proposition 32.

“It’s complete money laundering,” the Democratic governor said. “Money laundering is when you take something that you’re ashamed of or you want to hide, and you put some Clorox on it, or you scrub it, or you wash it, and it comes out looking like something else. And this looks like some leadership committee going to some small business committee. In truth, they’re neither leaders nor are they small business. It’s major financial interests and powerful, powerful corporations and personalities that have the ability to move $11 million at will.”

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