In 2012, California voters widely supported Governor Brown’s Proposition 30, a ballot measure designed to raise revenue for public schools. It was premised on the common sense idea that the state’s millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes to fund public schools.
Many of the wealthiest Californians, especially hedge fund managers and private equity investors, did not like that they were being pressured to pay higher taxes. They hid their involvement in the “no” campaign by contributing to Americans for Job Security, a Virginia-based 501(c)4 organization. Their contributions were then funneled through two separate Arizona-based groups in an attempt to shield the wealthy donors’ identities. Presumably they knew that a public campaign against Proposition 30 would draw too much scrutiny and put them on the defensive.