Why would an Arizona-based mystery group funnel millions into our state to defeat Prop 30, the vital school funding measure? Where did the money come from? Is it even legal?
No one really knows, because the out-of-state dark money group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, is refusing to disclose who its financial backers are. Even though the Fair Political Practices Commission called foul on their secret money game and a California judge ordered the ARL to turn over all of its documents to the FPPC, the chances of that happening before Tuesday’s election look slim. According to FPPC Chair Anne Ravel,
The respondents are doing everything they can to stall. It's clear they don't want to comply with California law.
We may not find out who’s really behind the ARL’s money in time for Tuesday’s election, but it’s safe to assume these dark-money mystery donors from out of state simply do not have California’s best interest at heart. They don’t understand what it’s like to see your kid’s school close before your very eyes. They’ve never struggled to make a tuition payment that’s ballooned 100% or more. And in all likelihood, their children will probably never even set foot inside a California classroom.
If we actually knew who these bandits were, maybe we could understand why it is that they’re spending millions to kill Prop 30, which will go a long way towards getting California’s education system back on track. Prop 30 is the only measure on the ballot that will stave off another $6 billion in cuts to our schools this year, and would bring billions in new revenue to our schools for things like rehiring teachers, smaller class sizes and updated textbooks. Prop 30 addresses both short-term and long-term challenges to our education system, and is a common-sense solution that would put California back on top.
So maybe that’s why these Arizona bandits are shelling out millions in dark money to influence our election– they simply don’t want to see our state succeed and flourish. According to the ruling issued Wednesday by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shellyanne Chang:
The court finds that irreparable harm has occurred and continues to occur as each day passes and voters continue to cast their votes without information that may influence their votes.
Regardless of what happens in the courts, we have the power to stop these bandits from stealing our election. If we get out the vote, they won’t win. They can’t win. It’s all up to us. So this weekend, get to your nearest phone bank or precinct walk. Let’s show these secret donors that their money isn’t going to influence this election. Let’s prove once and for all that the power of everyday people always trump the secret millions shady donors use to try to buy our democracy.
This isn’t their election. These aren’t their schools. And they can’t prevail if we harness the grassroots power of millions of working women and men. We can stand up for students, for teachers and for our communities by voting Yes on Prop 30 this Tuesday, and urging all of our family, friends and co-workers to do the same. Our schools and our kids are counting on us.