Thursday, October 24, 2013

California Reaches Settlement With Arizona-Based Conservative Groups That Allegedly Violated Campaign Money Laundering Laws; Why Arizona Could Have Been - But, Won't - Next In Line ("Koch Classic") (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

California's Fair Political Practices Commission ("FPPC") has apparently reached a settlement with Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership ("ARL") - and, possibly other members of the conservative money network that participated in the secretive $11 million contribution last year to oppose a California initiative.  The same groups used similar channels to spend $1.5 million defeating two Arizona initiatives at the same time.

The Huffington Post is reporting that a source has confirmed that the settlement - the FPPC had prompted a grand jury investigation that reportedly had some allies of the influential Koch brothers "very puckered up" - will be announced tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Ann Ravel - the chairwoman of the FPPC who is now serving on the Federal Election Commission - simply tweeted late Tuesday afternoon that the FPPC would "be announcing a major case settlement tomorrow at 12pm."

After litigation that went to the California Supreme Court, ARL released the sought-after information about the source of the $11 million the day before the election: another secretive (does not release donor information) Arizona-based group, the Center to Protect Patient Rights.  Ravel and the FPPC called that an admission that California's campaign money laundering laws had been broken.

As noted, ARL also spent $1.5 million last year successfully opposing two Arizona ballot measures- $975,000 opposing renewing the one-cent sales tax, and $575,000 defeating the top-two primary measure.

However, Arizona's campaign finance laws were not as specific as California's, making an investigation by Arizona's Secretary of State or Attorney General (both Republicans) unlikely.  (An Arizona statute does prohibit making "a contribution in the name of another person", but the CPPR ---> ARL transfer would likely survive a challenge under that statute.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

No comments: