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Confirmed: Frying Pan News Story of Massive Koch Brothers Prop. 32 Donation




It’s official: Americans for Responsible Leadership, the shadowy dark-money outfit that funneled $11 million from Arizona into the campaign supporting California’s Proposition 32 and the effort to defeat Proposition 30, was little more than a courier service for the Koch brothers.

Today’s San Jose Mercury News carried news about the fast-developing story that has gripped Sacramento since October 16:

A group tied to David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who have played a huge role in spreading anonymous political cash around the country, was behind the shadowy Arizona group’s $11 million donation to a California business group.

That group is the Center to Protect Patient Rights, a known front for the Kochs’ political agenda. On October 25, a Frying Pan News post reported by Bill Raden first broke the story that the Kochs were probably responsible for the $11 million October Surprise. Based on conversations with several veteran Arizona political observers, Raden concluded, “[T]he Kochs may have wanted to anonymously dump another massive payload on the Yes on 32 campaign. To do so they would need an out-of-state entity in order to get around California’s reporting requirements.”

At that time, Raden reported that “Ann Ravel, the California Fair Political Practices Commission chairwoman, ordered FPPC attorneys to demand that Americans for Responsible Leadership disclose the contribution’s original donors.”

Since Ravel’s demand, lawyers for ARL fought to keep its donors’ names secret. On Sunday they lost a unanimous decision in California’s Supreme Court, but seemed intent on filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. However, by this morning the group threw in the towel and released a donor list revealing clear ties to the Kochs.

Ravel left the door open to taking legal action against ARL. According to Merc reporter Steven Harmon, Ravel said:

“This isn’t going to stop here. They admitted to money laundering. We agreed to do this without an audit because we wanted to get information to the public before the election. But we in no way agreed this would preclude further action.”

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