Disclosure of Arizona group's donors yields more mystery
After a frantic court battle, state election officials succeeded Monday in forcing an Arizona group to disclose the identities of contributors that provided $11 million to a California campaign fund.
But the revelations added little clarity for voters. The mystery donors turned out to be other nonprofits, whose individual contributors remained secret.
The money started with the Virginia-based Americans for Job Security and was transferred to a group called the Center to Protect Patient Rights. Over the course of a few days in October it was sent to the Arizona group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, and then transferred again to California.
Finding the source of the money "becomes daunting," said Derek Cressman of Common Cause, an activist organization that filed the original complaint about the donation. "How many layers can you drill through?"
The $11-million donation is being used to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike plan, Proposition 30, and promote an initiative that could limit political spending by unions, Proposition 32.
Federal law allows nonprofits to keep donors confidential. California regulators, however, sought to curb anonymous contributions with a new rule in May requiring that donors be disclosed if they give to nonprofits with the intention of spending on state campaigns.
Discovering who wrote the original checks could prove impossible, but California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said authorities would continue to search for the source of the funds past election day...