At the close of last week, we were tracking the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s (FPPC) efforts to conduct an audit of Americans for Responsible Leadership (ARL) to determine whether the Arizona-based 501(c)(4) needed to disclose its donors under California law. A state trial court had ordered ARL to submit documents and ARL had taken an appeal.
The weekend saw a flurry of activity. Concerned that the state appellate court was not going to advance the ball quickly enough, the FPPC, represented by the California Attorney General, filed a motion with the California Supreme Court, arguing that the audit was only valuable to voters prior to the election, should donor disclosure result. On Sunday afternoon, the State’s highest court unanimously ruled at 3:00 p.m. that ARL must submit documents to the FPPC relevant to the audit within an hour, and denied ARL’s request for an extension to allow for review of the federal constitutional issues by the United States Supreme Court.
According to press reports, ARL is forging ahead with its last-chance bid before the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s not clear at the moment, though, whether ARL has submitted the documents or whether the audit is underway. The only thing for sure is that the clock is ticking.