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Arizona nonprofit appeals order in campaign finance case

November 1, 2012 |  5:16 pm

Kamala Harris

The Arizona nonprofit at the center of a controversy over secret campaign donors has appealed a judge's order to turn over records to state authorities.

"The [Fair Practices Political Commission] does not have the authority to issue an audit in advance of the election and that is why we filed our appeal," said Matt Ross, a spokesman for the nonprofit's legal team.

California's campaign finance watchdog is seeking the records to determine whether the nonprofit is improperly shielding the identities of its donors. A state judge in Sacramento ordered the group to turn over the records Wednesday.

The nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, gave $11 million to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike plan, Proposition 30, and supporting a separate measure to curb unions' political influence, Proposition 32.

State authorities, who are trying to unmask the donors before election day Tuesday, said they will push the appeals court to resolve the case as soon as possible.

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris criticized the Arizona nonprofit Thursday, saying, "They are clearly trying to slow down the process and subvert our ability on election day to know who is trying to influence the election."

[Updated 5:25 p.m. The state responded to the appeal with its own filing, asking the appeals court to force Americans for Responsible Leadership to comply with the audit even as the case continues.

"This information is, by its very nature, only relevant before the election," the filing says.]


Arizona nonprofit must turn over records, judge orders

Gov. Jerry Brown says shadow lurkers should be 'ashamed'

Field Poll shows Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan hangs in balance

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris speaks at a news conference in July in Los Angeles. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times