The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 17, 2012
Arizona group gives $11 million to pass Prop. 32, defeat Prop. 30

As reported on our sister blog, Capitol Alert, a committee supporting Proposition 32 and opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot has received $11 million from an out-of-state group.

Phoenix-based Americans for Responsible Leadership gave the money to Small Business Action Committee PAC, which is backing Proposition 32 and opposing Proposition 30. The group was formed as a non-profit in Arizona and has not reported its donors there or here.

It's also not clear how the money will be spent, because the business committee can spend the money to support Proposition 32 or oppose Proposition 30. Donations to the PAC now total $29.2 million, according to state records.

Another independent expenditure committee, California Future Fund, has received and spent $4 million. The group has reported ties to the Koch brothers. The money has gone to pro-Proposition 32 advertising.

The Yes on 32 campaign has raised roughly $3.5 million, according to state records, nearly all of it from individuals with business ties who contributed $10,000 or more.

Contributors to committees focused on defeating Proposition 32, mostly organized labor, have given more than $51 million.

Proposition 32's opponents in labor say the measure's provision to ban payroll-deducted money for political use is aimed directly at hobbling them. While the measure explicitly applies the ban to both unions and corporations, the provision wouldn't impact business much at all, since they raise political spending money via individual contributions. Unions raise their money exclusively via payroll-deducted member dues.

The measure also bans unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates, but since the courts have ruled that organizations and individuals can spend unlimited sums on independent expenditure campaigns, corporations would still have money to channel in that direction. Unions wouldn't.

Supporters say the measure goes as far as the law allows to limit the money that influences politics.

Click here for a more detailed explanation of Proposition 32. This link will open the Secretary of State's webpage with a list of committees for and against the measure and links to their financial reports. Here's the filing that details the Americans for Responsible Leadership contribution:
Small Business Action Committee PAC 10/16/2012

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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