Judge: Ariz. donors must turn over records

Nov. 1, 2012 at 5:02 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A California judge ruled an Arizona group that donated $11 million to a campaign must turn over its records to the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled Wednesday the anonymous Arizona group must turn over its records to the state's campaign finance watchdog by Thursday at 5 p.m. so it can determine whether the group broke any laws, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The group donated money to a business that was running a campaign against Proposition 30, which proposes tax hikes for schools, and Proposition 32, which would curb unions' ability to collect dues from members.

"The court finds that irreparable harm has occurred and continues to occur as each day passes, and voters continue to cast their votes without information that may influence their votes," Chang wrote.

"We are disappointed in today's court ruling," said Matt Ross, spokesman for the Arizona group's legal team. "We have asserted all along that the FPPC does not have the authority to issue an audit in advance of the election. We continue to believe so and will appeal this case."

If the commission determines the group broke campaign finance law, it would demand disclosure of its donors immediately.

"This was a really huge contribution that was made with no information associated with it about who the donors were -- and the voters have a right to know this," commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel said.

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