Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Rodriquez (formerly AFPF v. Becerra) pits a Democratic Party bete noire — a nonprofit with close ties to Koch family foundations — against the California attorney general’s office. The state of California wants to require all nonprofits to report the names of their major donors not just to the IRS, but to the state government. This could have significant implications that would reduce charitable giving overall; infringe upon Americans’ freedoms of speech, religion, and association; threaten the ability of individual donors and nonprofits to carry out their work; and potentially put private citizens at risk of harassment or worse.
The state insists it needs such information in case certain nonprofits and their donors are mixed up in fraud or other nefarious criminal activities. But states can already call on the IRS for help in such cases, and the California AG’s office has only sought donor information in less than one percent of its investigations into charities — a total of five — in the last ten years. Instead, it appears that the real motivation behind California’s demands is the larger liberal crusade against so-called “dark money” — a phrase the Left likes to use to describe private donations going to conservative causes.