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

October 19, 2012 |  3:32 pm

Derek Cressman of Common Cause explains his group's complaints about an $11-million campaign donation by an Arizona group
Gov. Jerry Brown took aim Friday afternoon at the secret donors behind an $11-million contribution to a campaign fund working against his tax measure on the November ballot.

The money was donated this week by an Arizona nonprofit called Americans for Responsible Leadership. The Arizona group is not disclosing the names of the individuals or companies that provided the cash.

“We’re up against shadowy forces,” Brown said at a Burbank lunch event hosted by the Valley Industry & Commerce Assn. “I challenge those opponents of Proposition 30: come out from behind the shadows. Take your mask off. Let voters see who you are. They have a right to know before the election  who is funding the campaign against Proposition 30.”

The $11 million was deposited into a campaign account controlled by the Small Business Action Committee. The money is being used to fight the governor’s multibillion-dollar tax hike proposal, as well as to promote Proposition 32, which is being bitterly fought by labor unions because it would restrict how they could raise political cash.

“The democratic process requires that all the people who participate be known and participate in public,” Brown said. “There is a lot at stake here.”

Earlier Friday, Common Cause filed a complaint against the Arizona group with the Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging it was in violation of a new California regulation that prohibits such secret donations. 


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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 to fight Proposition 30 and support Proposition 32. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press