The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 9, 2012
Unions say Prop. 32 campaign is hiding its expenses

The union-backed No on Proposition 32 campaign has filed a formal complaint with a state political watchdog commission over $8 million the measure's supporters spent on media ads last month.

The opposition group on Monday asked the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate two Yes on Proposition 32 campaign committees, California Future Fund for Free Markets and the Small Business Action Committee PAC, No on 30/Yes on 32. The complaint alleges the independent pro-32 committees failed to disclose enough payment detail for TV and radio spots that started running in mid-September.

The deadline for political committees to file third-quarter financials with the Secretary of State was Friday.

The FPPC complaint filed by Lou Paulson, president of the California Professional Firefighters and head of a labor alliance fighting the measure, states, "While SuperPACs may be able to legally hide their donors, they are required to play by the same rules as all other political committees active in California ballot measure campaigns."

The provision in campaign finance disclosure law cited in the complaint "is considered somewhat of a grey area," said Beth Miller, spokeswoman for the Small Business Action Committee PAC, said in an email this afternoon.

"Although we believed at the time that the filing contained sufficient information to meet all disclosure requirements, since this issue was brought to our attention this morning, we will be filing an amendment with the Secretary of State's office as soon as possible," Miller said. That filing will address the issues raised in the complaint.

The State Worker left a 9:25 a.m. voice mail message seeking comment from the California Future Fund. As of this afternoon, the committee hadn't called back.

Here are the documents:

The No on 32 complaint
Quarterly campaign statement for the California Future Fund for Free Markets, Yes on Proposition 32 with major funding by American Future Fund
Quarterly campaign statement for Small Business Action Committee PAC, No on 30/Yes on 32
Quarterly campaign statement for No on 32, Stop corporate special exemptions from campaign finance rules, sponsored by working families, John A. Perez and labor organizations

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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


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