A shadowy group in AZ is running to the supreme court to help them hide the source of the $11 million they dropped in CA at the last minute on to ballot iniatives.
While AZ has some of the strictest campaign finance laws in the nation, this shadowy group is skirting the law by forming as a 501 (c) 4 – a designation reserved for “social welfare groups) that are supposed to have little involvement in politics. But the loopholes have made them of a favorite tool of dark money on the right this election.
The CA Supreme Court has ordered them to comply with an audit by tomorrow. CA laws requires non-profits to turn over donor information if the intent was for the money to be used for political purposes in CA.
The out of state group, “Americans for Responsible Leadership” has made an 11th hour, $11 million donation againstProp 30- Gov. Browns tax increase sent to the people of CA for a vote, and in support of Prop 32- which seeks to castrate unions.
UPDATE: Well, the Arizona “non-profit” relented, sort of, and released the “source” of the money…sort of.
Apparently the funds originated with another non profit- a 501(c)6 which makes them a “trade association” charity in VA (Americans for Job Security) that has likewise funneled millions of dollars in dark money into elections. The money was then passed through another Non-profit- another 501(c)4 (“Center for Patients Rights“) in AZ, before be handed off to the AZ non-profit who then dropped the $11 million in CA. (article at LA Times )
All of these groups are walking a razor thin legal line using loopholes (and the fact that republcians have refused to allow any appointments to the Federal Election Commission) to move millions of dark money in this campaign. These, and hudreds of other conservative non-profits (and a handful of liberal ones as well) are violating the intent, and in some cases the letter of the law in regards to both election laws and the citizens united decision.
If there is one huge lesson to be learned from this election- it is that America desperately needs election reform (and an operating FEC) to protect the rights and interests of the american citizen.
UPDATE #2: it looks lie the AZ group “Center for Patients Rights” is a Koch Brothers front group. More at the LA Times here
And it looks like CA intends to proceed with prosecutions for the money laundering and other illegal activities involved in this whole mess. Here, here!