The Yes California Independence Campaign has been cleared of wrongdoing by the California State Government’s Fair Political Practices Commission.
In 2018, the Commission launched an investigation into anonymous allegations filed against Yes California. The campaign reviewed the allegations and returned a thorough and comprehensive point-by-point response to the State objecting to and rebutting them.
Specifically, the allegations claimed that Yes California and its founders “laundered political contributions”, “failed to report any and all contributions and expenditures”, “failed to register either with the Federal Election Commission or the California Election Commission as a “non-connected” (single issue) Political Action Committee”, that Yes California was used by its founders “as a pass-through false entity to their personal benefit”, and that the organization “laundered foreign contributions” from Russia.
As a part of the year-long investigation, the taxpayer-funded Commission subpoenaed the organization’s bank records and collected other relevant documentation. As a result of their investigation, the Commission concluded in a September 2019 letter addressed to Yes California that “we are closing this case without taking any enforcement action because the allegations have been disproven.”
For his part, Marcus Ruiz Evans said that the state’s investigation turned out to be a blessing in disguise, referring to persistent claims of wrongdoing and foreign backing of the Calexit campaign.
“You have to find the good in every situation – we can now point to the results of this state investigation when allegations of campaign finance violations from the 2016-2017 independence referendum campaign are made against Yes California. I remind you: these allegations were filed anonymously, by someone too cowardly to identify themselves. Although they denied us the right to face our accusers – a cornerstone of our democratic system – we still came out with a victory in the end, which frankly we knew would be the case right from the start.”