Phil Trounstine writing in CalBuzz about the disgorgement of funds the Small Business Action Committee made to the state under an obscure law made the serious accusation that SBAC laundered the donation. That was not even suggested by state investigators.
The record is clear. Our organization did nothing wrong, confirmed by two state investigatory agencies, the FPPC and Attorney General’s office who called our group the only one completely clean involved in the incident. It took these agencies a year with subpoena powers to discover the route the money took, something we could not uncover in a weekend. However, we did our due diligence at the time, as the FPPC acknowledged, informing the donor to make full disclosure under California law.
The disgorgement law appears to be unconstitutional. We were approached by a First Amendment legal organization to challenge the law, which in essence requires you to hold on to funds until you are certain they are not tainted, something impossible to do during the short duration of a campaign. We even have a letter written by a Democratic political law firm that makes the same arguments against this disgorgement law that we have made.
However, the length of time it would take to challenge the law and the cost of doing so made settling the disgorgement with the FPPC a practical choice.
Apparently, all this doesn’t matter to Trounstine. He doesn’t like the politics so he makes unfounded accusations.