The Clean Money Year in Pictures — 2017!
Yet with last year's historic passage of AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act, California is leading the way against secretive Big Money in politics. And that's just the beginning — thanks to Clean Money supporters like you and our coalition partners!
A great way to tell the story of Clean Money's series of hard-won victories in California in 2017 is with pictures at major turning points! In the images below we refer to both AB 249 and AB 14. The California DISCLOSE Act started 2017 as AB 14, authored by Assemblymembers Jimmy Gomez and Marc Levine. After Assemblymember Gomez went to Congress it became AB 249, authored by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin and Assemblymember Levine — then passed the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Brown.
We hope you enjoy these photos of our nation-leading California DISCLOSE Act victory. Nearly every step of the way was a nail-biter, with progress only happening after huge outpourings of grassroots activism from Clean Money supporters like you shown below. And it all built on our major progress in 2016, because we keep coming back!
Below that are people being recognized as 2016 Clean Money Champions for their tremendous grassroots activism or legislative leadership. In the front row from left to right are: Mary Linton, Shirley Shelangoski, Senator Jerry Hill, Mary Gill, Robert Ward, Nancy Neff, Gary Appell, and Donna Poulos. In the second row are: David Schmidt, AB 249 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, Craig Dunkerley, CCMC President Trent Lange, Assemblymember Marc Berman, and Elaine Elbizri.
Also speaking were Congressmember Ro Khanna, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, and CCMC President Trent Lange. The majority of California Clean Money Action Fund donations in 2016 were $10 or less, but many of the 151 attendees at the fundraiser gave generously enough that, along with others, they increased our average donation to $28. Truly, regular people's small donations power Clean Money!
Speaking in the photo is principal coauthor Senator Ben Allen. Also speaking were: principal coauthor Senator Jerry Hill, coauthor Assemblymember Matt Dababneh, Freddie Quintana from the office of AB 14 author Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, Nicolas Heidorn of California Common Cause, Mark Carlson of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy, Jason Pfeifle of CALPIRG, Lauren Windsor of American Family Voices, Roza Calderon, and Clean Money's own Trent Lange, D'Marie Mulattieri and Logan Smith. Our voices demanding a vote were heard loud and clear, literally resonating through the Capitol.
SB 651 passed the Assembly Elections Committee in a bipartisan 5-0 vote after the committee received hundreds of emails and heard spirited testimony from the Clean Money supporters (shown above) and coalition partners. Later, it passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee in a vote of 10-5. Then we made it a two-year bill so we could focus on passing the DISCLOSE Act. In 2018 we plan to finish passing SB 651 with your help!
Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León along with Clean Money President Trent Lange and ecstatic Clean Money activists after he gave us the good news.
After AB 14 author Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez went to Congress, the California DISCLOSE Act needed a new author and bill number. This was a perilous time. More than 3,000 Clean Money supporters called Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León before the final Senate Rules Committee hearing that could affirm Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin as the new author in time to give it a realistic chance of passing in 2017. Senator de León led by granting Assemblymember Mullin authorship, and by publicly vowing to work with stakeholders to get AB 249 passed!
Other speakers at the rally included: AB 249 joint author Assemblymember Marc Levine, newly announced principal coauthor Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, original principal coauthors Senators Ben Allen, Henry Stern, and Jerry Hill, and coauthors Assemblymembers David Chiu, Laura Friedman, and Sharon Quirk-Silva, plus CDP Women's Caucus Chair Christine Pelosi, CDP Chicano-Latino Caucus Vice Chair Norma Alcala, and CCMC President Trent Lange.
When AB 249 finally had the vote in the Senate Elections Committee we'd been demanding for the last several months, over 120 Clean Money supporters testified and the bill passed 4-1! We immediately dispersed and lobbied senators and their staff to vote "Yes". Three days later, AB 249 flew through the Senate Appropriations Committee in a 5-2 vote on September 1st.
After receiving more than 32,000 emails and thousands of calls, an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Senate voted to pass AB 249, 29-9! Every Democrat voted "Yes", joined by Republican Senators Anthony Cannella and Scott Wilk. That sent AB 249 back to the Assembly floor for the reconciliation vote it needed to reach Governor Brown's desk.
After passing the Senate floor vote, AB 249 had only four days to pass an Assembly reconciliation vote. Clean Money supporters and coalition partners generated an incredible 10,000+ emails and thousands of calls, combined with in-person lobbying visits from not only California Clean Money Campaign President Trent Lange but also our friends at California Common Cause, CALPIRG, the League of Women Voters of California, the Lutheran Office of Public Policy, and even the California Broadcasters Association.
It worked! After stirring speeches by AB 249 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin and Assemblymembers Marc Berman, David Chiu, Matt Dababneh, Todd Gloria, Ash Kalra, Marc Levine, Kevin McCarty, Al Muratsuchi, and Sharon Quirk-Silva, AB 249 passed Assembly reconciliation in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 59-15! Every Democrat voted "Yes", along with Republican Assemblymembers Dante Acosta, Catharine Baker, Tom Lackey, Brian Maienschein, and Mark Steinorth. Republican Assemblymember Steinorth provided the deciding 54th vote, a very positive example for bipartisan reform for the nation.
Our press release, "Landmark, first-in-the-nation campaign disclosure legislation, California DISCLOSE Act, signed by Governor Brown", summed it up, with Clean Money President Trent Lange saying:
"It is both fitting and unsurprising that this landmark, against-all-odds legislative victory for democracy was won the same way our republic was secured: by thousands and thousands of passionate volunteer Americans who selflessly devoted — as in the final sentence of the Declaration of Independence — 'their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor' to the cause.
California to Continue Leading Nation Against Big Money — With Your Help!
2017 proved that when we all stand together and demand action — showing by our smart persistence that we will never go away, and that we will hold elected officials accountable — we can change the course of history against all odds with landmark legislation like the California DISCLOSE Act.
Now we're building on our victories to fight other ways Big Money dominates politics. First up is passing SB 651, the Petition Disclosure Act that will require paid initiative signature-gatherers to tell voters who's paying for them, stopping bad initiatives from getting on the ballot by hiding who's behind them. Help us keep the momentum going!
Here are two ways you can help us continue to lead the nation in fight against Dark Money:
1) Become a member of the California Clean Money Action Fund to support our grassroots efforts against Big Money every month!
2) Sign up as a Clean Money Rapid Responder to boost key Clean Money posts on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or DailyKos!
Thank you again from everybody at California Clean Money for all that you do!
— Trent, D'Marie, Catherine, Katherine, Wayne, Kevin, Nancy, David, Craig, and everybody else at the California Clean Money Campaign and California Clean Money Action Fund