Big Arizona Donation Poses Challenge to California Disclosure Laws
It's uncertain whether voters will learn before Election Day who's behind an Arizona group's $11-million contribution to two California ballot measure campaigns. But the court case seeking disclosure of the donors has turned into a crucial test of California’s campaign finance system.
Last month, an organization called Americans for Responsible Leadership gave its money to a California political action committee that opposes Proposition 30 and supports Prop 32.
But it won’t say where it got the money, and it’s resisting this week’s court ruling that it should open its books to California’s campaign finance watchdog.
UC Irvine election law expert Rick Hasen says California has some of the strongest disclosure laws in the nation. “And so this case is very important because it seems to be one of the only times in recent years where there’s been major spending on an initiative or ballot measure and we have not had full disclosure of the source of funding.”
Hasen says however this case ends up -- before Election Day or after -- it could set a precedent for future years.