A conservative activist from New Jersey has agreed to pay $2,400 in fines for failing to properly report $200,000 he spent on a campaign to block California's transgender students rights law.
Sean Fieler of the assets management firm Equinox Partners admitted to the state Fair Political Practices Commission staff that he did not file a major-donor report as required after he contributed large sums to the campaign group Privacy for All Students in 2013. The commission will meet April 16 to consider approving the fine negotiated by its enforcement staff.
The campaign group failed in 2013 to collect enough signatures for a referendum on AB 1266 after it was approved by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The controversial law allows transgender students to chose which gender they want to be identified as for purposes of participating in school sports and using school restrooms and showers.
Fieler was the largest contributor to the referendum, which was organized by the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative legal group. Brad Dacus, president of the institute, said last year that the referendum reflected mainstream views that support "making sure that no boy or girl ever has to take off his or her clothes in front of the opposite sex in the locker room or in the shower."
But former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) denounced the referendum’s backers as "people that make money off promoting hate and professional fear-mongers, who took advantage of what other people didn't understand."