PAC received $11 million of anonymous money for Prop 30 and Prop 32.
by Brian Leubitz
It turns out that everything comes around in the end.
The political arm of the Small Business Action Committee (SBAC) filed official termination papers on Monday, six months after agreeing to hand over $300,000 in campaign cash to state officials for accepting what turned out to be the largest anonymous donation to a political effort in California history. (KQED / John Myers)
If you don’t remember exactly what happened, check the dark money tag. Long story short, a few payments, totaling over $10 million, were dropped into the SBAC accounts right before the November 2012 election to fight for Prop 32 (unions) and against Prop 30 (Brown’s tax measure). Common Cause filed a complaint, and the FPPC eventually came down with the biggest fine ever.
Now, the fine would have worked out just fine if those meddling good government types hadn’t gotten in the way of the profligate spending right before the election. That fine is just another cost of buying an election, if you have that kind of money. But, in the end, the problem was that the money played directly into the campaign message that the Prop 32 opponents (including me) had been stating for the past 6 months. While the SBAC was able to spend a lot of money right before the election, it could be argued that the earned media was just as valuable for the other side.
Closing down a PAC isn’t really that big of a deal, because it isn’t hard to open another one. If Joel Fox or his compatriots have any big plans, there is no doubt that a similar group will be up and running in a few days. Nonetheless, it does mark something of a turning of the page on the 2012 election.