Thu Nov 1, 2012, 07:36 PM
Starry Messenger (25,523 posts)
Judge confirms ruling against mystery donor to ballot campaigns (Prop 30/32)
Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang's final ruling ordered Phoenix-based Americans for Responsible Leadership, which donated $11 million to kill Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase in Proposition 30 and support the campaign finance measure Prop. 32, to turn over information to state regulators on Thursday.
It's still far from certain, however, that voters will learn of the group's donors before Tuesday's election. The group said it will appeal, and it is unclear whether the courts can sort out the issues in expedited fashion or, even if they do, whether the state Fair Political Practices Commission will determine that donor disclosure is warranted..
"We are disappointed in the today's court ruling," Matt Ross, the Sacramento-based spokesman for the group's Virginia legal team, said in a prepared statement. "We have asserted all along that the FPPC does not have the authority to issue an audit in advance of the election. We continue to believe so and will appeal this case."
Attorney Jason Torchinsky, representing the Arizona group, said that the Fair Political Practices Commission's request for unredacted records including emails and bank statements, exceeds the scope of the law.
Torchinsky is a known Koch brothers satellite. The plot thickens.
From last year:
Yet another conflict arises through attorney Jason Torchinsky. On May 13, 2010, a letter from Virginia Thomas was sent to the West Virginia Secretary of State on behalf of Liberty Central, enclosing the prior year’s IRS tax filing. The letter advises the Secretary of State’s office to call Liberty Central’s attorney, Jason Torchinsky, if any additional information is needed. Torchinsky is an attorney for the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity. The Federalist Society at the University of Iowa hosted Torchinsky to speak on the Citizens United decision on October 23, 2009, while the case was pending before the Supreme Court.
The Lincoln Journal Star web site reported on March 20 of this year that Torchinsky, representing Americans for Prosperity (AFP), filed a letter with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission effectively stating that it was exempt from the state’s campaign finance laws: “AFP’s communications are not distributed ‘in assistance of, or in opposition to, the nomination or election of a candidate.’ Rather, AFP’s communications are distributed to inform citizens of certain aspects of legislative records, cite specific pieces of legislation and discuss policy implications. A communication that merely informs citizens of a legislator’s record does not constitute ‘express advocacy,’ and does not ’assist’ or ‘oppose’ the election of a candidate.”
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