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Arizona nonprofit appeals judge's order to surrender records

The nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, gave $11 million to be spent on California political campaigns. The appeal may delay disclosure of donors' identity.

November 02, 2012|By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — The Arizona nonprofit at the center of a controversy over secret campaign donors Thursday appealed a judge's order to turn over records to California's campaign finance watchdog.

The Fair Political Practices Commission is seeking the records to determine whether the nonprofit is improperly shielding the identities of its contributors. The nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, gave $11 million to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike plan and support a separate measure to curb unions' political influence.

Thursday's appeal could delay the effort to unmask the donors before Tuesday, election day. State authorities quickly responded with their own filing, asking the appeals court to force the nonprofit to comply with the judge's order even as the legal case continues.

"This information is, by its very nature, only relevant before the election," the state's filing says.

The nonprofit says it has a right to keep its donors secret and maintains that state authorities are not allowed to audit before the election.

chris.megerian@latimes.com

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