As many of you may recall, the Teamsters and may other Unions across California united and fought strongly against Proposition 32 and Proposition 30. Below is an article written by Christohper Arns, Staff Writer for the Sacramento Business Journal regarding the Grand Jury investigating David and Charles Koch of illegally funneling millions of dollars to try and pass these detrimental propositions during the Fall 2012 elections.
Grand jury investigates California campaign violations
A grand jury is apparently investigating whether several “dark money” groups linked to billionaire conservatives David Koch and Charles Koch illegally funneled $11 million to defeat two California ballot measures in the 2012 general election. If verified, the case would be the largest incidence of campaign money laundering in the state’s history.
According to the Daily Beast, the Small Business Action Committee, a conservative probusiness advocacy group, reported spending the money last October to defeat Proposition 30, the measure to raise income taxes to pay for education, and Proposition 32, which would have restricted unions from deducting money from their members for political activities, but didn’t reveal its donors. That’s potentially a violation of California campaign disclosure laws.
According to the Daily Beast, a social-welfare group called Protect Patient Rights may have been one of the donors. The group has been linked to the Koch brothers and is known for funneling $55 million to conservative political groups in the 2010 midterm elections. The Small Business Action Committee is run by Joel Fox, former president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and editor of the conservative blog Fox and Hounds, which covers California politics.
Social welfare groups are nonprofit organizations that don’t have to pay taxes or reveal their donors as long as their primary purpose isn’t political campaigning. However, California law does require groups contributing to ballot campaigns to reveal their donors.
The alleged violations were initially revealed last October, according to the Daily Kos, but the grand jury investigation is new.
You can read more at the Daily Beast, including more details about how Protect Patient Rights shuffled money between several states before donating the money to anti-Prop 30 and anti-Prop 32 efforts.
Article Written By: Christopher Arns
Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal
Christopher Arns covers state legislation, regulation and contracts, as well as economic news, international trade and economic development for the Sacramento Business Journal.