Americans For Job Security: Conduit For Right Wing Dark Money - 2012-12-30
After Citizens United, attention has been paid to the sheer amount of money the right wing poured into elections and how that money has influenced public opinion, debate, and outcomes. But for the most part, attention has been placed on the so-called SuperPACs and their participation. While American Crossroads and others were certainly big players on the national landscape, little attention has been paid to how they operate on a state by state basis, and how they are used to launder money across state lines in order to subvert even the mildest disclosure requirements. In this post and ones to follow, I'll be putting the spotlight on these organizations and how they operate together to subvert democracy.
In California, Governor Jerry Brown put a measure on the November 2012 ballot to raise income and sales taxes in order to continue funding California schools and universities (Prop 30). Unlike most tax measures, Californians were in support of raising taxes in order to save our struggling school system. Another ballot measure would have stripped unions in California of their ability to participate in political speech while giving large corporations unlimited ability to spend on elections (Prop 32). Public opinion was mixed on that proposition.
In October, 2012, $11 million came into the state to oppose Prop 30 and support Prop 32. The organization which received and spent the money was called Americans for Responsible Leadership, a group organized in Arizona in 2011. California authorities filed a lawsuit to force Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL) to reveal their donors. Ultimately, they won the right to discover who gave ARL the funds, but they didn't discover the people behind the money.