By Mary Slosson
SACRAMENTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - A California campaign finance
regulatory agency can audit a last-minute $11 million
out-of-state donation to a political action committee by a
mystery group from Arizona, a judge tentatively ruled on
A state Superior Court judge in Sacramento wrote that
Californians "will suffer irreparable harm" if the California
Fair Political Practices Commission is not allowed to audit the
donation from Americans for Responsible Leadership.
The commission sued the Arizona-based non-profit last week
for access, ahead of the Nov. 6 general election, to information
about its donors to evaluate if their donations comply with
California campaign finance laws.
The $11 million donation is one of the single, largest
contributions in the 2012 election season in California, and is
also the largest out-of-state contribution from one independent
non-profit to another for the purposes of influencing an
election, commission chairwoman Ann Ravel said last week.
The Arizona group donated $11 million to the Small Business
Action Committee PAC on Oct. 15, according to the lawsuit.
The donation was intended to help fuel efforts to defeat a
tax ballot initiative sponsored by California Governor Jerry
Brown, a Democrat, and support another ballot measure that would
stop automatic paycheck deductions for political activities that
is seen as a potential blow to labor unions.
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