The Clean Money Year in Pictures — 2016!
The over 200 Clean Money supporters like you who attended our Senate Elections Commitee Lobby Day in June and the Northern California Voters'' Right to Know Act & California DISCLOSE Act Kickoff in February.
It was a big year for the issue of money in politics. Record amounts of SuperPAC and Dark Money money from the wealthy and powerful were spent nationally, corrupting politics and silencing the voices of ordinary voters more than ever.
Fortunately, progress in California represented a beacon of hope against Big Money: 3 out of the 4 top Clean Money bills passed the legislature this year and voters passed not just one, but two key anti-Big Money ballot measures, including Proposition 59, the Overturn Citizens United Act.
The best way to tell the story of Clean Money's progress in California is with pictures! Here are some of the biggest Clean Money events of the year. Maybe you'll see yourself in one of them -- join us!
Voters' Right to Know Act Campaign Kickoff in Palo Alto on February 20
Fearless Palo Alto volunteer coordinator Nancy Neff welcomes more than 100 dedicated Clean Money volunteers to the kickoff for the Voters' Right to Know Act initiative (sponsored by Jim Heerwagen). New Assembly Elections Committee Chair Evan Low speaks to the crowd with Assemblymember Rich Gordon and California DISCLOSE Act Champion Senator Jerry Hill getting ready to speak.
More than 200,000 signatures were gathered for the initiative before the legislature was spurred to act, with major progress on the California DISCLOSE Act and with Senator Bob Hertzberg introducing SB 1349, implementing the initiative's other key part to modernize the state's online disclosure system.
AB 700 Senate Campaign Kickoff at UCLA on April 2
A packed house at the Senate campaign kickoff for AB 700, the California DISCLOSE Act (Gomez-Levine). In the front row are speakers Michele Sutter of Money Out Voters In, Assemblymember Patty Lopez, AB 700 author and Clean Money Champion Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, SB 1107 author and Clean Money Champion Senator Ben Allen, Clean Money President Trent Lange, Judy Frankel representing Label GMOs, and Paul Song.
Northern California Clean Money Grassroots Summit on April 29
Clean Money grassroots leaders and activists gather in an all-day summit to help plan the campaigns for AB 700, SB 254, and SB 1107. Regional Coordinator David Schmidt leads a breakout session on the left, along with South Bay Coordinator Craig Dunkerley on the right.
First Victory: SB 254 passes to put Proposition 59 on the ballot on June 9!
After more than 16,000 Clean Money supporters like you emailed, called, or tweeted, Governor Brown issued a statement that he was allowing SB 254, authored by Senator Ben Allen and sponsored by our friends at Money Out Voters In, to go into law — officially putting the Overturn Citizens United Act on this November's ballot! A total of more than 125,000 people overall from a broad coalition signed petitions to pass SB 254, with 62,000 signatures coming from Clean Money supporters like you.
AB 700, CA DISCLOSE Act, passes Senate Elections Committee 4-1 on 6/21!
AB 700, the California DISCLOSE Act, passed the Senate Elections Committee on a vote of 4-1 after nearly 100 people from all around the state packed the hearing room. Above, Clean Money leaders get ready to deliver more than 72,500 signatures for AB 700 — a total that would grow to more than 106,000 by the end of August!
AB 700, CA DISCLOSE Act, Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing Aug 1
More than 100 people from around the state packed the crucial Senate Appropriations Committee to testify for AB 700, shown here with Clean Money President Trent Lange, AB 700 author Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, and Clean Money Field Organizer D'Marie Mulattieri after the hearing. AB 700 ended up passing the committee on a 5-2 vote after more than 2,500 people called Senate Appropriations Chair Ricardo Lara and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon.
AB 700 falls one vote short of passing Senate in midnight vote on Aug 31.
AB 700 fell short by one vote of getting the required 2/3 to pass the Senate in a dramatic vote ten minutes before midnight on the final night of the legislative session, including a sit-in on the Senate floor by AB 700 author Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and floor manager Senator Ben Allen (see above).
Authors Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and Marc Levine immediately vowed to bring the California DISCLOSE Act back on the first day of the new legislative session, December 5th. As Assemblymember Gomez said, "It shouldn't be legal to mislead California voters — period. And I won't rest until it is stopped. The California DISCLOSE Act will be back."
Governor Brown signs SB 1107 and SB 1349 on Oct 2!
In a huge victory on October 2nd, Governor Brown signed SB 1107, our bill to remove the ban on public financing of campaigns, authored by Senator Ben Allen and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign and California Common Cause. Such voluntary citizen-funded election systems are the only way to get politicians out of the pay-to-play fundraising game.
Governor Brown also signed SB 1349, authored by Senator Bob Hertzberg and sponsored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla and the Political Reform Act Modernization Coalition. SB 1349 modernizes the Secretary of State's campaign disclosure website to make California lead the way in online transparency and disclosure. Governor Brown's signature means that one of the two key parts of the Voters' Right to Know Act initiative is now law.
California voters pass Proposition 59 and Measure X1 on Nov 8!
On November 8th, California voters sent a loud and clear message by passing Proposition 59 (put on the ballot by the earlier passage of SB 254) to instruct California's Congressmembers and legislators to propose and ratify a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and saying that money isn't speech and corporations aren't people!
Not to be outdone, the city of Berkeley made a resounding statement calling for Fair Elections by overwhelmingly passing Measure X1, the strongest voluntary public financing matching funds system anywhere in the country, with 65% of the vote.
New California DISCLOSE Act introduced — AB 14 — on Dec 5!
The California DISCLOSE Act, the strongest bill in the nation against secret money in politics, is back! As promised, Clean Money Champions Assemblymembers Jimmy Gomez and Marc Levine introduced a new version, AB 14, as soon as the legislature came back into session.
This time they're already joined by new principal coauthors Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and Senators Ben Allen (author of SB 1107 and SB 254) and Jerry Hill (joint author of the first DISCLOSE Act to get through the Senate) — and the army of 106,000 Californians who signed petitions for the last version, AB 700, that came within one vote of passing.
2017: California to Lead the Nation Against Big Money With Your Help!
2016 was a big year for California Clean Money and our partners. Many thanks to the thousands of you who took action or donated to help California have a record year against Big Money.
Now we're getting ready for an even bigger year in the fight against secret money in politics. We all hope to see you as we push to get the one extra vote AB 14 needs to pass and strike the strongest blow yet against the unlimited secret money unleashed by Citizens United!
Here are two ways you can help us get ready to lead the nation in fight against Dark Money:
1) Sign up as a Clean Money Rapid Responder to boost key Clean Money and DISCLOSE Act posts on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or DailyKos!
2) Become a member of the California Clean Money Action Fund to support our grassroots efforts against Big Money every month!
Thank you again from all of us at California Clean Money for all that you do, and best wishes to you and your friends and family this holiday season.
— Trent, D'Marie, Catherine, Wayne, Kevin, Nancy, David, Craig, and everybody else at the California Clean Money Campaign and California Clean Money Action Fund