June 27, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.
Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.
California Shows the Way in Combating ‘Dark Money’ in Politics
Posted on Oct 28, 2013
California’s political campaign watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, lowered the boom on secretive political spending by levying $1 million in fines and directing two shadowy groups to pay $15 million in penalties for violating state laws meant to shine a bright light on the sources of political campaign spending.
The penalties—the largest in state history—grew out of efforts by conservative political groups to influence two state ballot initiatives last year that would have increased taxes to help balance the state’s battered budget, and reduced the ability of unions to raise money for political campaigns. The budget initiative passed, and the anti-labor measure was defeated, which means the groups incurred the record-setting penalties in losing causes.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the FPPC targeted two nonprofits tied to the Koch brothers through which Californians funneled million-dollar donations to state political campaigns while evading public disclosure:
The Bee said the released report ties some of the contributions to office addresses used by the Gap-owning Fisher family in San Francisco, and Eli Broad in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the donations appeared to have been made to get around California reporting requirements:
The Washington Post drilled into the fines and penalties, writing in an editorial that the FPPC’s investigation offers “a rare glimpse of the dark money coursing through U.S. politics” and includes “important lessons for the whole country.” The Post notes:
The good news for the nation: Ravel has just joined the Federal Election Commission.
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
Banner, End of Story, Desktop
Banner, End of Story, Mobile
Watch a selection of Wibbitz videos based on Truthdig stories:
New and Improved Comments
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide