Politics, government and public life for Southern California

CA court: Arizona group doesn't have to reveal $11 million donation details [UPDATED]

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A California Appeals court in Sacramento refused Friday to compel an Arizona group that donated $11 million to two California ballot proposition campaigns to submit to an audit. 

UPDATE: The Fair Political Practices Commission has appealed the case to California’s Supreme Court, which has asked both sides to submit briefs this weekend. A decision could come Sunday or Monday.

It’s the latest twist in a legal battle over whether Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership should have disclosed the names of donors who gave money to a campaign fighting Prop 30 — Gov. Brown’s tax initiative — and in support of Prop 32 — a ban on payroll deductions for political contributions.

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission wants to see documents about the donation to determine if donors knew that the money was earmarked for a specific campaign. If they knew, California law requires their names be disclosed.

On Wednesday, a Superior Court Judge ordered Americans for Responsible Leadership to comply with the audit by Thursday afternoon. Instead, the Arizona group appealed the decision — and that put the audit on hold.

California officials asked the 3rd District Court of Appeal to lift the stay immediately, but the court refused.   

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