The state's political ethics watchdog has reached a settlement following its probe into an $11 million donation that added last-minute drama to Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase initiative, a source close to the case told The Bee.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission is expected to announce the settlement at a news conference Thursday in Sacramento. Details of the settlement were not immediately available.
After the $11 million went to oppose Brown's Proposition 30 tax increase and support Proposition 32, a measure aimed at weakening the political power of labor unions, the FPPC sued to force more detailed disclosure. It eventually discovered that the money flowed to California through three nonprofits: Americans for Job Security, the Center to Protect Patients' Rights and Americans for Responsible Leadership.
The true source of the donations has remained a mystery.
Both the Center to Protect Patient Rights and Americans for Job Security have funded campaigns against Democratic congressional candidates and President Barack Obama without disclosing their donors. The FPPC has accused the nonprofits of money laundering to hide donors from California voters in violation of state law.
The Center to Protect Patient Rights and its director, Sean Noble, have been connected to billionaire conservative activists David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch in the past, but spokespeople for the Kochs have denied any involvement 1n the Proposition 30 and 32 campaigns.
PHOTO: FPPC Chair Ann Ravel gestures during an interview in her office on Tuesday September 17, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/ Renee C. Byer