Capitol Alert

Businessman who funded effort to overturn transgender rights law fined by state watchdog

Former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, authored the bill to shielding transgender students. Here, Ammiano addresses members of the Assembly at the Capitol on Aug. 4.
Former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, authored the bill to shielding transgender students. Here, Ammiano addresses members of the Assembly at the Capitol on Aug. 4. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

Sean Fieler, a New York-based hedge fund executive who donated $200,000 to an unsuccessful effort to repeal a transgender student rights bill, will pay a $2,400 fine for failing to file a timely donor report with the state.

Fieler, a frequent financial supporter of conservative candidates and causes from New Jersey, made three donations to the California committee Privacy for All Students, which last year sought to overturn Assembly Bill 1266 authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Last February, then-Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced the group finished about 17,000 short of the 504,760 valid signatures needed to put the referendum before voters.

The bill allows transgender students to join athletic teams and access facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identities instead of their sex.

At the time of its attempted repeal, Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said he hoped “the forces putting this referendum together included the people that make money off promoting hate and professional fear-mongers, who took advantage of what other people didn’t understand.”

Fieler’s settlement will go before the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission at its April 16 meeting.

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.

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