Foes Target AIDS Measure Fund Sources
Opponents filed a complaint Monday charging the sponsors of Proposition 102, a Nov. 8 initiative that would force health officials to alter their AIDS strategy, with hiding the sources of money for their campaign.
The complaint, filed with the state Fair Political Practices Commission, said that Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) and committees headed by activist Paul Gann were violating the law by not fully disclosing where $639,870 in contributions came from.
“How much is really being spent on this campaign?” said Bruce Decker, former head of the state AIDS advisory committee and manager of one of the campaigns being waged against Proposition 102. Decker and Assemblyman Johan Klehs (D-San Leandro) signed the FPPC complaint filed Monday.
The complaint alleges that the Stop AIDS Initiative Committee, a Gann-led group backing the ballot measure, received $90,000 from another group whose backers and money sources are not on record with the secretary of state. This other group, the Committee to Cap the National Debt, is required to file because it qualifies as a “major donor” to California political campaigns, Decker and Klehs contend.
Ted Costa, a spokesman for the Proposition 102 campaign, said the Committee to Cap the National Debt is a national fund-raising committee headed by Gann. He said the group had received legal advice that a separate report to the secretary of state was unnecessary.
The Stop AIDS Initiative Committee also received a $100,000 loan from an Orange County apartment building owned by Dannemeyer that also has not filed with the secretary of state, the complaint alleges.
If any mistakes have been made they will be corrected, Costa said. “We are squeaky clean,” he said Monday.
Gann and Dannemeyer are the chief sponsors of Proposition 102, which would ease legal restrictions that they say now prevent AIDS from being attacked like other infectious diseases. It would forbid anonymous testing for the human immunodeficiency virus that leads to AIDS, require that anyone who tests positive be reported and their sex lives investigated, and repeal state laws that prohibit using an AIDS test to deny insurance or jobs.
Opponents, who say the measure is a repeat of the two AIDS initiatives backed by extremist Lyndon LaRouche and rejected by voters, argue that Proposition 102 would tie the hands of health officials, end research and waste hundreds of millions of dollars on needless investigations into sexual practices.
The opposition is led by AIDS researchers and all of the state’s leading health organizations, including the California Medical Assn. and groups of hospitals, nurses and public health experts. The state’s two U.S. senators, Democrat Alan Cranston and Republican Pete Wilson, former President Gerald Ford and most top California political leaders are also opposed. Gov. George Deukmejian has yet to take a position.
Also named in the complaint filed Monday was California Physicians for a Logical AIDS Response, a group cited by Gann and Dannemeyer as showing medical community backing for Proposition 102.
The complaint contends that the group failed to report $21,200 in loans from Dannemeyer’s congressional campaign committee and $3,000 in loans from Gann’s Proposition 102 campaign committee.
Costa said Monday that the group has filed as required with the secretary of state.