The political intrigue continues over who is contributing to a huge infusion of cash into the political committee opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's Prop 30, even after state campaign finance regulators Monday revealed the major source of funding.
After a legal battle that almost ended up at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership finally revealed who gave them that mysterious $11 million campaign contribution. "They disclosed they were the intermediary. It's now the largest instance of money laundering that we're aware of in California history," said Gary Winuk with the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
In a letter given to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the money came from Americans for Job Security, which funneled it to yet another non-profit, Center to Protect Patient Rights before sending it to ARL. ARL then sent it to Small Business Action Committee PAC in California to use against Gov. Brown's tax measure for schools, Proposition 30, and to win approval for Proposition 32 which aims to curtail unions' political power.
At least one of those groups is tied to David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who are playing a huge role in financing anti-Obama ads in swing states and bankrolling Tea Party candidates. "These are two individuals who are worth $3-4 billion each, who have promised to spend $200-$400 million on conservative candidates and partisan interests throughout the nation using schemes just like this, hiding money in PACs and non-profits," said Phillip Ung from California Common Cause.
Those opposed to the governor's tax measure hope voters look past the donor list and see Prop 30's tax hike is still a bad idea. "Gov. Brown did a great job raising money. He's raised about $57-58 million. Our side has about $13 million. And it makes it very difficult to get our message out," said Aaron McNear with No on Prop 30.
However, the governor says the donor list is exactly why voters should be suspicious. "This is the most extraordinary money laundering I've ever seen, this was washed five times and it is still dirty and it is still stinks," said Brown.
Voters got their information in time for the election. Playing a shell game with political money could later bring criminal misdemeanor charges and fines equal to the donation.