Political watchdog to levy $1-million fine on out-of-state groups


SACRAMENTO -- The state’s political watchdog will announce a combined fine of $1 million -- the largest-ever for violating the state’s campaign finance laws -- against a pair of nonprofit groups for funneling millions of dollars into a pair of ballot measure campaigns in 2012.

The sanctions from the Fair Political Practices Commission will be announced at a news conference on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the investigation who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the case.

The penalties will be levied against Americans for Responsible Leadership and the Center to Protect Patient Rights, a separate Arizona-based group that has ties to billionaire conservative activists Charles and David Koch.


The FPPC has found the nonprofits were used to illegally diverted $11 million into a campaign account that worked to defeat Proposition 30, a tax measure on last year’s ballot pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The committee also spent heavily for Proposition 32, an initiative that would have curbed the ability of labor unions to raise money for political campaigns.

FPPC chairwoman Ann Ravel is expected to announce the penalties at a Sacramento news conference Thursday afternoon.


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