Update – California Supreme Court to rule on ‘dark money’ Americans for Responsible Leadership

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The California Supreme Court ordered written arguments submitted this weekend on the state Fair Political Practices Commission's request to examine records of the nonprofit Americans for Responsible Leadership, and determine whether its contributors can be publicly named before Tuesday's election. Arizona group won't say who gave $11 million:

State officials' frantic efforts to identify the last-minute donors of $11 million to the campaign to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative and pass an anti-union measure are an unconstitutional attempt to "intimidate and silence" Brown's opponents, the Arizona nonprofit that contributed the funds told the California Supreme Court Saturday.

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The Fair Political Practices Commission said Americans for Responsible Leadership was the largest anonymous campaign contribution in California history. Although federal law does not require such organizations to identify their contributors, the FPPC says California law requires disclosure if the donors knew their money was going to a specific campaign in the state.

In Saturday's filing, Thad Davis, a lawyer for the Arizona nonprofit, said requiring disclosure would violate the rights of the organization and its donors to freedom of speech and association.

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Even if the court lifted a stay and ordered the records released by Sunday evening, Davis said, it would be too late to engage in any meaningful review and make any information public before the election. He hinted that the Arizona group would appeal any such order to the U.S. Supreme Court, increasing the likelihood of a further postponement.

In response, Ravel said the commission's auditors were prepared to work all night Sunday, if necessary, to determine whether the contribution is subject to the state disclosure law. "They have been delaying complying with California law. Then they turn around and use that (delay) as a justification," Ravel said. "It's a shameful argument."

The court could issue an order after receiving the FPPC's final round of arguments, due at noon Sunday.

Waiting on the the California Supreme Court to issue a ruling.

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