The latest on California politics and government
October 31, 2012
A Sacramento Superior Court judge confirmed tonight her ruling against an obscure Arizona campaign group, saying the failure to investigate the source of its funds would cause irreparable harm to California voters.
Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang’s final ruling ordered Phoenix-based Americans for Responsible Leadership, which donated $11 million to kill Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase in Proposition 30 and support the campaign finance measure Prop. 32, to turn over information to state regulators on Thursday.
It’s still far from certain, however, that voters will learn of the group’s donors before Tuesday’s election. The group said it will appeal, and it is unclear whether the courts can sort out the issues in expedited fashion or, even if they do, whether the state Fair Political Practices Commission will determine that donor disclosure is warranted..
“We are disappointed in the today’s court ruling,” Matt Ross, the Sacramento-based spokesman for the group’s Virginia legal team, said in a prepared statement. “We have asserted all along that the FPPC does not have the authority to issue an audit in advance of the election. We continue to believe so and will appeal this case.”
If the commission gets the records, it will review them, looking for whether its donors have been illegally shielded from disclosure. State law requires that donors must be identified if they gave to nonprofits with the intention of spending money on state campaigns here.
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