Arizona Dark Money Recipients Sign Judgment, Disgorge $300,000

Watch the Press Conference via YouTube

.pdf version of news release

Contact: Gary Winuk, (916) 322-7761

Sacramento - The FPPC today announced that it has entered into separate, stipulated judgments with the California Future Fund (CFF) and the Small Business Action Committee (SBAC) for disgorgement of the $4.08 and $11 million dollar "dark money" contributions they received in the 2012 election. A payment of $300,000 towards this judgment was made today by SBAC.

"Recovering an initial $300,000 is a win for Californians and for campaign finance disclosure," said FPPC Enforcement Chief Gary Winuk. "This case had unique circumstances because it involved two of the largest campaign contributions ever made in California. The $1 million fine previously imposed, combined with the judgments and $300,000 payment made today, are a serious deterrent to any future efforts to hide the true source of money spent in California elections."

Last October the FPPC announced a record civil settlement against the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR) and Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL). The settlement required CPPR and ARL to pay $1 million to the State General Fund for their failure to disclose two dark money independent expenditure contributions to oppose Proposition 30 and support Proposition 32 in the 2012 election. California law also required that the recipients of these contributions, SBAC and CFF, disgorge the contribution to the State General Fund. Today CFF and SBAC agreed to stipulated civil judgments acknowledging their responsibility to disgorge the contributions. Any future funds received by SBAC or CFF will be used towards the judgment.

"As we head into the 2014 election season, the FPPC will continue to aggressively enforce campaign disclosure laws, as we did in this case," Winuk said.

The case was initiated after the FPPC filed suit against ARL prior to the November 2012 election to provide records to ensure the source of an $11 million contribution from ARL, an Arizona non-profit with no history of political activity in California, was properly disclosed to California voters. The day before the election, ARL disclosed that Americans for Job Security (AJS) and CPPR were the source and intermediary, respectively, of the $11 million contribution to the Small Business Action Committee (SBAC), a California independent expenditure committee.