The Fresno Bee reports that legislative leaders in California have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into a Missouri non-profit called the Adam Smith Foundation. The Adam Smith Foundation gave $498,000 to the California Jobs Initiative committee, the sole committee spending in support of Proposition 23. (See California campaign finance records filed by California Jobs Initiative here.) California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez allege that the Adam Smith Foundation is taking advantage of its tax status to hide who its contributors are.
The Adam Smith Foundation's filings with the Internal Revenue Service show that it raised just $5,200 in 2009 and ended the year with $109. The California lawmakers question how the organization is capable of legally contributing nearly half a million dollars to the Prop. 23 campaign under such financial circumstances. They allege that the foundation is merely acting as a pass-through agent for political contributions, which is illegal under federal tax laws.