Fight Big Secret Money in Politics:
Build on Our Historic Victory for the California DISCLOSE Act!


        












Striking Next Blows Against Secret Money!

Help pass SB 47, the new Petition DISCLOSE Act

SIGN PETITION!  Make initiative signature gatherers show voters their top three funders.  Read Press Release  Download Materials

Clean Money Rolling against Big Money!

7 of 7 Clean Money Priorities in 2018!

VICTORY!  Social Media DISCLOSE Act (AB 2188, Mullin).  Makes ads on Facebook, Twitter, etc. show top 3 funders!

VICTORY!  Restore Net Neutrality to CA (SB 822, Wiener)!

VICTORY!  Stop Abuse of CA DISCLOSE Act (AB 2155, Mullin).

VICTORY!  One Website With All Electeds (AB 2707, Mullin).

VICTORY!  Initial Funding for Open-Source Paper Ballots.

VICTORY!  Risk-Limiting Election Audits. (AB 2125, Quirk).

AB 249, California DISCLOSE Act, Signed in 2017!

READ ABOUT the strongest on-ad disclosure law in the nation — now law!  Authored by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign.

3 Top Clean Money Bills Passed in 2016!

VICTORY!  SB 1107 (Allen), which Clean Money sponsored, opens the door to public financing of campaigns in California!  Victory news.

VICTORY!  SB 1349 (Hertzberg), new state disclosure website!

VICTORY!  SB 254 (Allen-Leno), put on the California ballot Prop 59, the Overturn Citizens United Act — which won!  Sign petition!

Become a member of the California Clean Money Action Fund to join the fight against Big Secret Money!


Democracy Under Assault by Secret Money Unleashed by Citizens United

What do you care about?  The environment, health care, education, food safety, worker rights, civil rights, or fair taxes?  Everything in our lives is dominated by billionaires and special interests that spend unlimited amounts of hidden money to buy ballot measures and elections.  Clean Money activists are making California lead the nation against this threat.


Historic California DISCLOSE Act Reveals Secret Money — But There's a Lot More to Do!

Left: AB 249 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin speaks at "Give the DISCLOSE Act a Vote!" rally.  Right: AB 249 Senate floor manager Senator Ben Allen, Clean Money President Trent Lange, and Assemblymember Mullin huddle outside Senate chambers on the day of the final Senate floor vote.

After a relentless 7 year grassroots campaign that a story on Salon.com called "... the biggest post-Citizens United effort to alter how campaigns are run in America...", in 2017 we developed and passed AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act — the strongest political ad disclosure law in the nation.

• Requires ads to show 3 largest funders of the ad in large clear type on a solid black background.  No more fine print.  Applies to all ballot measure ads and to ads about candidates paid for by outside groups.

• Identifies original funders on ballot measure ads using first-in-the-nation using earmarking and tracing rules so ads must display true funders instead of misleading names, even when they try to hide behind multiple layers.

Example of how it would have looked on bottom 1/3 screen of Yes on Prop 26 advertisement




How We've Built on the DISCLOSE Act

Pass SB 47, Petition DISCLOSE Act!

  • Make initiative signature gatherers show voters an "Official Top Funders" sheet listing their top 3 funders.
  • Make it easier for grassroots campaigns and activists by letting them print and staple initiative petitions themselves.
  • Authored by Senator Ben Allen and sponsored by California Clean Money Campaign.  Read Press Release

How You Can Help




        

Editorials on the California DISCLOSE Act

Public campaign financing in L.A. can't be 'incumbency protection'

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 12/24/18

It doesn't seem like the City Council intended to make it harder for candidates to qualify for matching funds. But new rules have done just that, and they should be changed to level the playing field.  Full story

Better defenses for our election systems

San Francisco Chronicle, by John Diaz, 4/13/18

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, state Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo, has written AB2188 to require social medial platforms to disclose the true identity of the funders of political advertisements. The Mullin bill is a natural extension of his Disclose Act, signed into law last year. This bill belongs on the must-do list in Sacramento.  Full story

EDITORIAL: Voters deserve to know who's bankrolling shadowy political campaigns

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 10/4/17

... most voters don't have the time ... to vet every political ad. ... it makes sense to update the requirements for disclosure as proposed by AB 249, which would require that the top three funders of ads supporting or opposing a ballot measure be identified transparently and prominently in the ad. ... The bill would put California at the forefront of campaign finance disclosure.  Full story

Gov. Brown must prove he’s a friend to transparency: Thomas D. Elias

Los Angeles Daily News, by Thomas Elias, 9/25/17

The one bill with the most potential to improve this state's politics is the long-sought "DISCLOSE Act," which -- if Gov. Brown signs it before an Oct. 15 deadline -- could do more than any modern measure to clean up California's money-dominated initiative process.  Full story



Op-Eds and Media Coverage on the California DISCLOSE Act

Ethics Commission rejects plan to eliminate spending caps

48 Hills, by Tim Redmond, 2/18/19

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The San Francisco Ethics Commission decided Friday not to propose rules that would have in effect abolished spending caps for local campaigns.  Full story

Who’s behind that political ad? Voters will know more in 2018

Sacramento Bee, by Taryn Luna, 10/7/17

Amid debate among California campaign officials over whether it would hinder their accountability work, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed a measure aimed at providing voters with more information about deep-pocketed groups that pay for political advertisements.  Full story

The people paying for California political ads might be easier to identify under this new state law

Los Angeles Times, by John Myers, 10/7/17

A sweeping effort designed to give Californians more information about the biggest donors to ballot measure campaigns was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday, a major victory for groups that insist the current system fails to help voters make an informed choice.  Full story

California bill takes aim at dark money in politics — will Jerry Brown sign it?

San Jose Mercury News, by Katy Murphy, 10/1/17

AB 249 by Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo, would force greater disclosure in political advertising of major donors to ballot measures. Voters ought to know who's buying laws or paying for them through ballot measures.  Full story

Bringing the dark money of California politics into the light

Orange County Register, by Sharon Quirk-Silva, 9/30/17

The DISCLOSE Act would be the strongest campaign advertisement finance law in the nation. California should set an example for this great nation, and ensure that our politics represent the people, not big-money corporations.  Full story



Press Releases on the California DISCLOSE Act

National Coalition Launches Petition to Pass the Text Message and Petition DISCLOSE Acts

California Clean Money Campaign, Press Release, 9/6/19

SACRAMENTO, CA -- A major coalition of state and national good government and activist organizations launched a petition today to help pass two bills to stop Dark Money: AB 201, the Text Message DISCLOSE Act (Cervantes-Mullin) and SB 47, the Petition DISCLOSE Act.  Full story

"Secure the VOTE Act" Aims to Make California Elections More Secure and Transparent

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, Press Release, 4/12/19

SACRAMENTO, CA -- At a rally in Sacramento this afternoon, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) announced AB 1784, which aims to establish an Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems program.  Full story

Issue Ad DISCLOSE Act Introduced by Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin

California Clean Money Campaign, Press Release, 2/25/19

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Amid growing concerns about issue ads using secret money to try to kill legislation, and "sham" issue ads that attack candidates yet escape disclosure by not "expressly advocating" for someone, California will again lead the way to greater transparency with the launch of AB 1217, the Issue Ad DISCLOSE Act, authored by Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin.  Full story

Los Angeles Campaign Finance Coalition Leaders Express Major Disappointment in City Council Matching Funds Vote

California Clean Money Campaign, Press Release, 12/12/18

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Despite being urged by a coalition of 52 local, state, and national organizations to amend proposed changes to Los Angeles's small donor matching funds system, the Los Angeles City Council passed without discussion a recommendation by the City Rules Committee to codify the package with only a minor change.  Full story


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