October 19, 2012
Phillip Ung (916) 520-4070
California's Leading Campaign Finance Watchdog Ask FPPC to
Immediately Investigate and Expose Secret Out-of-State Campaign Donations
Sacramento, CA - California Common Cause today asked the FPPC to take immediate action to protect the integrity of November's election by demanding that the FPPC investigate and expose the secret, out-of-state interests who recently funneled $11 million to oppose Prop 30 and support Prop 32 in this November's election.
"Secretive out-of-state interests are trying to manipulate California's election with laundered money and the FPPC must shine the light on this shadowy group to determine who they are, where their money comes from and what their agenda is for California," said Phillip Ung, policy advocate for California Common Cause.
An Arizona group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, recently laundered $11 million in campaign funding through the Small Business Action Committee PAC in what may be the largest secret political donation in California history. The law office that served to incorporate Americans for Responsible Leadership counts Karl Rove's Crossroads organizations and several organizations tied to conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch among its clients, including the tea party group Americans for Prosperity and the California Future Fund which recently spent $4 million to support the anti-union Prop 32. Rove and the Koch brothers have reportedly planned to spend $200 million and $400 million respectively to influence this November's elections nationwide and they are well known for using non-profit organizations as a tool for keeping their spending secret.
"The $11 million contribution from a group which has previously never spent more than $500,000 on a political campaign raises 11 million red flags - and suggests that this group is only a shell organization whose primary purpose is to shield its donors from disclosure," said Derek Cressman, vice president of state operations for Common Cause.
The FPPC passed regulations just this spring allowing them to investigate and even subpoena SBAC's records and communications with these Arizona operatives in order to protect the integrity of California's elections and ensure that Californians' know who is behind the campaign to hurt our schools and skew our campaign finance systems in favor of corporations, billionaires, and super PACS.
The new regulations require a nonprofit who makes contributions to California candidates or ballot measures to identify its donors who made that contribution possible if the donors knew or should have known their money would be used for political purpose. The FPPC's new rules state, in part, that "[a]n organization shall not knowingly conceal the name of a donor with the purpose of depriving the public of information to which it is entitled under the Act." (Cal. Code. Regs., tit. 2, 18412, emphasis added.)
"The FPPC must not fail Californians now by looking the other way while cloaked operatives secretly launder millions of dollars in a campaign funds. They must act before the votes are cast because voters have a right to know who is trying to influence our elections with millions of dollars from shadowy out of state entities, concluded Ung.
Please contact Phillip Ung at (916) 520-4070 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any inquiries or need analysis.
Office: California Common Cause
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.