AIDS Healthcare Foundation and campaign financing

In one blow of $10 million, AIDS Healthcare Foundation managed to match every single opponent of Prop 10, the ballot measure to repeal Costa-Hawkins, a landmark property owner’s protection. Who is this AIDS Healthcare Foundation and where do they get so much money? Those are darned good questions, and darned if you’re going to get an answer. Because they are not registered as a PAC and have no transparency on where their money comes from.

It looks like they’ve been traversing shaky legal waters for quite some time now. Back in the 2016 election they gave $23 million to various ballot measures, eclipsing all registered political donors. According to the article, “the foundation could face legal repercussions for advocating policy changes with too loose a connection to its stated goals.”

You may remember a similar post about Karen Bass diverting $3 million in CDC funds to a leftist South LA advocacy group. It appears the left feels that all health is political and therefore they can bypass election financing law. Believe me, I tried reaching out to them to see where their money is coming from. And they gave me the runaround:

Which tells you how they feel about the laws and protections they hold the rest of us to – they don’t care about any of them. They have their crusade, they’ll find any loophole or sneaky method they can find to maintain their goals.

The real issue is whether their crusade is even real or if it’s covering more sinister aims. On the surface, AIDS Healthcare seems unassailable. Their name reads like “flags for orphans” – their website features dashiki-clad POCs and pictures of Gandhi. Who could be opposed to any of that?

But what happens when you look past the glowing rhetoric and splashy graphics? This is where things get difficult and the money trail goes dark. I’ve written about groups like this for a long time now, which seemed to have a heyday of indulgence under Obama’s tenure.

My best guess is that they’re representing state capitalist interests – the state of California is working with the largest developers to squeeze out small property owners, so these major developers can move in, swoop up the land for cheap, and build their behemoths in accordance with the state’s vision of packing us in like sardines.

My only current evidence is Mercy Housing – a group that actually reveals their list of donors. While they march under the “affordable housing” banner, their list of donors is a who’s who of the most major developers and financiers.

So I’d like to have a clearer picture of where election money is coming from here in California. But until we drag groups like this into the light and make them show their donors, we are left in the dark.

This is one thing we need to change in this midterm election.

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