Arizona nonprofit won't be audited for now, appeals court rules
A Friday decision by a California appeals court has made it increasingly
unlikely that voters will know before election day who is behind a
controversial $11 million donation from an Arizona nonprofit.
The court refused to order the nonprofit to turn over records to the state's campaign finance watchdog while a legal dispute over the audit continues.
The Fair Political Practices Commission wanted to get records on Thursday to begin determining whether the nonprofit was improperly shielding donors' identities.
A Superior Court judge ordered the nonprofit to comply with the audit on Wednesday, but an appeal filed on Thursday afternoon has successfully delayed the process.
A spokeswoman for the Fair Political Practices Commission, Tara Stock, said authorities will ask the California Supreme Court to force an immediate audit.
The Arizona nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, gave the $11 million to the conservative Small Business Action Committee, which is fighting Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike campaign and pushing a separate ballot measure to curb unions' political influence.
Photo: Jason Torchinsky, an attorney for Americans for Responsible Leadership, argues against a campaign finance audit on Wednesday in Superior Court in Sacramento. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press