California’s chief law enforcement officer has labeled the AIDS Health Foundation — the group bankrolling an extreme rent control measure on November’s ballot — as “delinquent” in its nonprofit status, according to a press release from Californians for Responsible Housing.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra last week said the foundation, which is headed by anti-housing activist Michael Weinstein, failed to file documents necessary to meet the requirements to claim charitable standing in the state.
“Once again, it appears that Michael Weinstein’s group, which essentially is a drug company masquerading as a charity, is trying to hide the ball about its involvement in political campaigns and failing to comply with basic state transparency requirements,” said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for Californians for Responsible Housing, the campaign committee that CAA created to defeat Weinstein’s radical rent control measure in November.
The Attorney General’s Office can suspend the AIDS Health Foundation from operating in the state if it does not file its required documents.
Last month, California YIMBY, which stands for Yes In My Backyard, filed a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Committee. The complaint alleges that Weinstein ignored well-established state reporting requirements in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose SB 50 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. The FPPC has since indicated it will open an investigation.
Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation is also bankrolling a statewide ballot initiative, nicknamed Prop 10 2.0, that would repeal significant portions of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and welcome back the extreme forms of rent control that proliferated in California in the 1970s.
The initiative, which recently qualified for November’s ballot, is a revised version of Proposition 10, Weinstein’s 2018 strict rent control initiative. That measure failed miserably at the polls despite tens of millions of dollars in campaign spending by Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation faces increasing scrutiny for its political spending.
This summer, state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, also called on the attorney general to investigate the group, alleging that it was fraudulently misusing savings from a federal drug-discount program designed to help low-income patients.
These actions came after the FPPC fined the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s committee in 2018 for its failure to disclose political campaign spending on Measure S, a housing ballot measure in Los Angeles.