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Skelton: Arizona donation is bad for California politics

October 25, 2012 | 12:00 pm

Derek Cressman

Skelton hedBlandly named nonprofits have shielded campaign donors from scrutiny around the country, and now one has rocked the political scene in California. The Arizona group called Americans for Personal Responsibility gave $11 million to a conservative committee last week.

In his Thursday column, George Skelton said the committee might as well be called "Tax Exempt Fat Cats Against Higher Taxes for School Kids."

The money from Arizona could be used to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike campaign or support a ballot measure designed to limit union influence.

On Thursday, California's campaign finance watchdog began legal action that could unmask the donors. State regulation says the identities of the donors must be disclosed if they know the money was going to a California campaign.

"The Arizona donors could claim they didn't know their $11 million was going to be spent on politics, but that wouldn't pass the laugh test," Skelton writes. "The money certainly wasn't meant for the homeless or for Lakers tickets."

All of Skelton's columns are here.


Anonymous political donation sets up legal battle

Jerry Brown to secret donors: 'Take your mask off'

Campaign finance watchdog may sue Arizona group

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Derek Cressman of Common Cause points out the groups his organization says are connected to an $11-million contribution made by an Arizona-based nonprofit to fight Proposition 30 and support Proposition 32. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press