Voters may finally get a look at who is putting big dollars into campaigns to kill two ballot measures.
Americans for Responsible Leadership, headed by former Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams, has put $750,000 into the campaign against Proposition 204. That's the one to impose a permanent one-cent sales tax surcharge mainly to fund education. And it has kicked in another $415,000 against Proposition 121 to create an open primary system. But Arizona has no laws to force the group to disclose where it gets ITS money. That's not the case in California. And late Wednesday a judge there ordered the group, which has put $11 million into two ballot campaigns there, to surrender its donor list to that state's Fair Political Practices Commission -- and do it before the election. But organization spokesman Matt Ross suggested it may not happen that quickly.
"We have asserted all along that the FPPC does not have authority to issue an audit in advance of the election.," Ross said. "We continue to believe so and we will appeal the case."
In her ruling, Judge Shelleyanne Chang rejected the group's contention that the audit disclosure would violate the First Amendment rights of the donors who thought their names would never be made public. She said her concern is for voters who are being asked to cast their ballots on the two California measures without knowing who is funding the campaigns and -- quote -- without information that may influence their votes.