By Tim Gaynor, Mary Slosson and Peter Henderson
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov 5 (Reuters) - An Arizona-based
non-profit group that has given $11 million to two politically
conservative ballot proposition campaigns in California revealed
names of groups behind the donations on Monday after losing a
court battle to keep their identity secret, state officials
However, despite the disclosures, the actual origin of the
funds remains unclear, as the California Fair Political
Practices Commission, which had gone to court to identify the
donors, said it had yet to receive the names of individuals or
corporations behind the related groups.
The Arizona-based non-profit group, Americans for
Responsible Leadership, which gave $11 million to a conservative
group on two propositions, said it received the money from an
organization called Americans for Job Security, a pro-business,
issue advocacy group.
The Fair Political Practices Commission, California's
election watchdog, said Americans for Responsible Leadership had
told the agency that Americans for Job Security made the
donation through another group, the Center to Protect Patients'
Commission chairwoman Ann Ravel said Americans for
Responsible Leadership had disclosed the origin of its
contributions as required under a ruling on Sunday by the
California Supreme Court, but the watchdog was pushing for more
"While we did not get a lot of information about the
individual human donors, ultimately we hope that we will be able
to obtain that. This is not the end of the road," Ravel told
The development marked the latest turn in a legal battle for
public disclosure of the original sources of the donation, which
sought to defeat a tax ballot initiative sponsored by Democratic
California Governor Jerry Brown, and to win passage of a
separate measure to ban payroll deductions for political
activities, which is seen as a potential blow to labor unions.
The $11 million donation was one of the single largest
contributions in the 2012 election season in California, and is
also the largest out-of-state donation from one independent
non-profit to another for the purposes of influencing an
The election watchdog sued the Arizona-based non-profit last
month for access to information about its donors before
Tuesday's election in order to evaluate whether its donations
complied with California campaign finance laws.
The Arizona group donated $11 million to the Small Business
Action Committee PAC on Oct. 15, according to the lawsuit.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook