For all the worry about the $11 million donation that conservative donors routed through an obscure Arizona nonprofit, Democrats scored huge wins Tuesday with a Proposition 30 victory and Proposition 32 defeat.
But Democrats remain angry over the contribution, whose true source has yet to be definitively known.
In a post-election conference Thursday in Sacramento, Democratic strategist Gale Kaufman made clear several times that she resents the October money infusion that helped fuel ads for Proposition 32, the anti-labor measure she worked against.
Kaufman said Democrats still intend to push for sanctions against people involved in the donation, at one point saying they will "fight to get the $11 million back." That was an apparent reference a state penalty for cloaking donors through an intermediary, which is a payment to the state general fund equal to the amount of the contribution.
Beth Miller, who was on the same panel with Kaufman, said her Small Business Action Committee which received the controversial donation had disclosed everything according to state law.
After facing a California Supreme Court order Sunday, the Arizona-based group disclosed Monday that two other right-leaning nonprofits had directed the money its way in October. One of the groups, The Center to Protect Patient Rights, reportedly has past ties to billionaire conservative activists David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch. Their spokeswoman denied Monday that they were involved in Propositions 30 or 32, though she didn't specifically address whether they had given to The Center to Protect Patient Rights.
When asked how Americans for Responsible Leadership found their way to the Small Business Action Committee, Miller said that the group's longtime president Joel Fox is well known to Republican donors. "It's not that big a country," she added. "They knew and were aware of our effort."
Thursday's conference was hosted by Capitol Weekly, the University of California Center Sacramento and The Leadership California Institute.