California, Ballot Measures and Dark Money

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California law says voters should know who's spending the money for and against ballot propositions, but federal law protects non-profits from revealing who their funders really are. When a nonprofit in Arizona spent $11 million last-minute on two California measures, the State Supreme Court ordered disclosure. The Arizona group complied, but not with the names of individual donors. It only revealed two other nonprofits. Americans for Responsible Leadership revealed that it got the money from the Center to Protect Patients' Rights — which originally received it from Americans for Job Security, a national conservative, pro-business organization. The money was spent against California Governor Jerry Brown's tax increase for public schools and for a measure that would limit fundraising by unions. Former federal litigator Ann Ravel, now Chair of the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, says it was the biggest disclosure of campaign money laundering in California history.




Warren Olney