CA Attorney General wants confidential Koch data

Koch BrothersPressing for access to confidential lists kept by the Koch brothers, U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris injected another note of politics into her tenure as California Attorney General.

Harris “has a fight on her hands trying to get the brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Foundation to give her access to the same confidential data it already provides to the Internal Revenue Service,” Bloomberg Politics reported. That organization has labored in court to maintain control over information about its contributors, arguing that they and it face routine threats of violence.

“Grotesque threats have been leveled against known associates of the foundation, ranging from threats to kill or maim to threats to firebomb buildings,” the Foundation alleged, as Courthouse News reported. “More mundane threats abound too, including boycotts, firings and public shaming, all of which are now demonstrated components of the playbook of the foundation’s more extreme opponents.”

Pressed on the prospect of public disclosure by judges at a recent hearing in federal appeals court, “Deputy Attorney General Alexandra Gordon told the judges that new regulations to prohibit such disclosure are in the making, though she didn’t know when they would be enacted,” the site added. Gordon waved away claims that Foundation contributors could be put in peril by the disclosure of their information. “We have basically some anecdotal evidence of threats, mostly arising from the founders of this foundation, the Koch brothers’ very public presence and very public events held by the foundation,” she said, according to Courthouse News Service. “That has nothing to do with whether this type of disclosure requirement is actually going to lead to harm.”

The legal battle between the Kochs and the state Attorney General began in December 2014, when Americans for Prosperity sued Harris for violating its First Amendment rights to free speech. Although California law requires all charitable organizations to register with the state and furnish copies of their public IRS filings, as the Los Angeles Times then noted, the so-called “Schedule B” filing, which lists the names and addresses of donors giving over $5,000 each tax year, is “kept confidential and not available to the public.”

While Americans for Prosperity “said they have been registered with the state since 2001 and had never before been asked for its list of donors,” the Times reported, a Harris spokesman said the Foundation “has been out of compliance with the law for a number of years” and “did not receive a communication previously from our office for one simple reason: the section responsible for enforcement has been chronically underfunded for years.”

By this year, however, the Kochs had gained the upper hand in court. This February, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real blocked Harris from pursuing the list “until the legality of the request has been resolved,” as Bloomberg Business observed, citing “a separate case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco halted the attorney general from enforcing the demand on the Center for Competitive Politics while that case was before that court.”

“Real rejected Harris’s argument that her office won’t publicly disclose the donor information, saying that California doesn’t have regulation preventing such disclosure and that, as such, it was left to the attorney general’s discretion whether to make it public. The judge agreed with the foundation that the attorney general’s office won’t be harmed by an injunction because it hadn’t had the donor information for the past decade.”

Whatever the outcome of the case, Harris stood to gain politically from putting the heat on Americans for Prosperity and the Kochs, who are reviled by Democrats as big-money GOP puppet masters. Of late, Harris has had to weather criticism of her own campaign spending, “using her campaign account to fund stays in upscale hotels and first-class airfares during her nearly five-year tenure as state attorney general,” as the Hill recently reported. “A review by The Hill of California campaign finance records reveals that Harris’s expenditures follow a pattern: The Democratic candidate regularly charges thousands of dollars in luxury travel and hotels to her campaign.”

6 comments

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  1. Dawn Urbanek
    Dawn Urbanek 16 December, 2015, 07:43

    I don’t think that Ms. Harris can be trusted with such information- because of course she would use that information for political gain. Ms. Harris has a long history of using her office in a politically biased manner.

    Take Public Education as an example-

    Every victory for students in State Court- is appealed by our State Attorney General using taxpayer money for the benefit of the public employee unions who fund Ms. Harris campagnes.

    As a parent and taxpayer who would love to have the public education system promised to taxpayers- I feel very betrayed by our elected leaders – especially Kamala Harris who is elected to enforce the laws of the State.

    Ms.Harris as the state’s primary legal counsel has taken an oath to uphold and enforce the laws of the State fairly and impartially, so that every California can enjoy economic prosperity and equal opportunity.

    As State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has failed to up-hold her responsibility to the people of California by failing to enforce and up hold laws which would substantially improve the quality of education for every student. There is no remedy available to students and taxpayers within the State so long as the State can pick and choose which laws to enforce, and which people will have adequate representation in the courts.

    Ms. Harris has breached her legal duty to:

    Enforce and apply all our laws fairly and impartially.

    Ensure justice, safety, and liberty for everyone.

    Encourage economic prosperity, equal opportunity and tolerance.

    Safeguard California’s human, natural, and financial resources for this and future generations.

    Failure to uphold and enforce the laws of the State fairly and impartially, so that every Californian can enjoy economic prosperity and equal opportunity, is facilitating the State’s ability to act in a manner that deprives certain students of their ability to achieve equality of educational opportunity in violation of equal protection of the laws of California’s Constitution.

    Students and taxpayers living in California have no remedy or relief from an oppressive State government that ignores its own laws, uses the public education system to justify the need for increased tax revenues, then redistributes revenues in a manner that promotes a political agenda (redistribution of wealth and entitlements for some at the expense of others).

    The State is failing and refusing to provide some students with the funding they are entitled to, simply because of where they happen to live, and irrespective of their own wealth, race or ethnicity. The result is the deprivation of a students fundamental right to a basically equal opportunity to achieve a quality education.

    California education is critical to the entire Nation’s future because one in eight public school students in the U.S. attends school in California.

    California had 6.3 million preK-12 students in 2011, and that is projected to increase to almost 7 million by 2023.

    Source: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_203.20.asp

    54.1% percent were eligible for free/reduced lunch and

    Source: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_204.10.asp

    23.2 percent were in English Language Learner programs

    Source: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_204.20.asp

    California’s failure to educate its students will greatly impact how educated the Nation is as a whole; and how well prepared the Nation will be to compete with it’s peers around the world in the future.

    Ms. Harris has the power to make the quality of education that California Students receive, better for all students by enforcing the Constitution and State Law- but chooses not to in violation of her Oath of office.

    Reply this comment
  2. desmond
    desmond 16 December, 2015, 17:53

    Kumula is a whore, previously provided her body for career, and now she corrupts her office, since she is fat, and smells like an hag Iraqi goat.

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 16 December, 2015, 19:42

      “…since she is fat, and smells like an hag Iraqi goat.”

      OMD I am DYING Desmond…you’re KILLING ME …with laughter….that is the funniest shit I have read in decades!!!! I have never smelled an Iraqi goat before, but I know it is probably as nauseating as it gets!!!

      At first I thought you were talking about Teddy Steals or Seesaw 😉

      Reply this comment
      • Ulysses Uhaul
        Ulysses Uhaul 16 December, 2015, 22:49

        Poooo Pooo

        Please be nice during Christmas……and get back to your sugar sprinkling station of Santa’s tree shaped sugar cookies at your career truck stop job!

        Reply this comment
  3. Dawn Urbanek
    Dawn Urbanek 16 December, 2015, 18:58

    Desmond-

    If you would like to make a difference in California we need to change the people we have in office by exposing their policies and bias. I would invite you to educate yourself about the students in our state. When you hear people say “it’s for the students” that is said for one reason only- because the state Constitution requires the State to ‘FIRST” fund a quality public education system. SO for 41 years the courts have ruled on adequacy and finally now it is going to be decided on equal protection of the laws – I am happy to share what I know based on my District and O too would like to see someone be State Attorney General who really made the laws of the State equal for all, and not just the people who paid the most to elect them.
    http://www.peopleforstudentrights.com

    Reply this comment
  4. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 17 December, 2015, 18:46

    California’s Attorny General Nusance needs to go dance naked in down town burbank

    Reply this comment

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