The Clean Money Year in Pictures — 2018!
In 2018 California Clean Money, our legislative champions, and our allies continued to make California lead the way — this year prevailing on 7 out of 7 Clean Money efforts!
We passed the first-in-the-nation Social Media DISCLOSE Act (AB 2188), helped California pass the strongest Net Neutrality law in the country (SB 822), helped begin funding to start developing Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems for more secure and transparent elections, and more.
Accomplishing so much would be huge in any year, but doing it right after our historic passage of AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act in 2017 demonstrates the great momentum we've built 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 victorious year in California is with pictures from major events! There were many nail-biters when progress came only after a huge outpouring of grassroots activism from Clean Money supporters like you. See below!
Clean Money activists gathered over 16,000 signatures on paper petitions at rallies and marches like the Women's Marches, at conventions, at farmers markets, and even from friends, families, and coworkers — a crucial part of our winning campaigns!
Pictured here at our booth in February at the California Democratic Party convention are Clean Money Champion and Petition DISCLOSE Act author Senator Ben Allen, Clean Money organizer Katherine Carpio, San Diego Coordinator James McCord, Clean Money organizer D'Marie Mulattieri, Riverside Coordinator Spencer Freeman, and Executive Director Trent Lange.
You can download petitions and materials to gather signatures yourself for our new bills here!
Over 100 Clean Money grassroots leaders and activists from all around Northern California gathered at our all-day summit in Palo Alto on April 7th for detailed trainings and planning the campaign for Clean Money measures. They were joined by Clean Money Champion legislators: AB 249 & AB 2188 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, AB 2188 Senate floor manager Senator Jerry Hill, SB 822 author Senator Scott Wiener, and AB 249 Principal Coauthor Assemblymember Marc Berman. All our victories rely on our activists and legislative champions!
At the top of the pictures are people being recognized as 2017 Clean Money Champions for their tremendous grassroots activism or legislative leadership. In the front row from left to right are Shirley Shelangoski, Pat Lang, Graham Huey, Susan Arnett, Pat Sax, Mary Beavins, Nancy Neff, and Clean Money President Trent Lange. In the second row are Michele Cohen, Larry Bathgate, Assemblymember Marc Berman, Craig Dunkerley, Senator Jerry Hill, former Assemblymember and Clean Money board member Sally Lieber. In the back row are Chris Hamilton, Howard Matis, Robert Ward, Don Curry, SB 822 author Senator Scott Wiener, Greg Pennington, AB 249 & AB 2188 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, Jennifer Heggie, and David Schmidt.
In the picture on the bottom left are workshop leaders Ralph Finley, CCMC Board Member Barbara Windham, Clean Money coordinators Nancy Neff (speaking), David Schmidt, and Craig Dunkerley. On the bottom right, Greg Pennington, Carla Kincaid-Yoshikawa, Pat Sax, and Huey Graham talk about priorities in one of the breakout discussions.
Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems on April 17
26 Clean Money activists across California came to speak at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 4 hearing in Sacramento with Assemblymember David Chiu in support of our state budget request with Assemblymember Chiu and Senator Scott Wiener to fund development of publicly-owned Open-Source Paper Ballot voting systems to replace insecure proprietary voting systems from corporate vendors that count votes with secret software — a first step of many in our fight to fund their development.
Our biggest bill of 2018 was AB 2188, the Social Media DISCLOSE Act, authored by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin working with the California Clean Money Campaign. It's the first bill in the nation to require political ads on Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other online platforms to clearly and prominently list on the ads the top 3 funders.
AB 2188 passed the Assembly Elections Committee on a vote of 5-2 after the committee received hundreds of emails and heard spirited testimony from Clean Money supporters and coalition partners (shown at top on the Assembly floor with Assemblymember Mullin). After the hearing, activists fanned out to lobby key Assemblymembers. On bottom left constituents talk with Assembly Elections Committee Chair Marc Berman, a Clean Money Champion. On the bottom right constituents talk with Assemblymember Catharine Baker, one of the first Republican Clean Money Champions, whose leadership was crucial to gaining bipartisan support for AB 2188 and for AB 249 the previous year.
AB 2155, our other bill authored by Assemblymember Mullin, that blocks the ways campaigns were already trying to abuse the clear and prominent listing of the top 3 funders as specified in our historic California DISCLOSE Act (AB 249), sailed through the committee on a 7-0 vote the same day.
Over 125 activists and leaders participated in our campaign kickoff in San Francisco for Publicly-Owned Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems to replace insecure proprietary voting systems from corporate vendors that count votes with secret software. The front row from right to left includes California Democratic Women's Caucus Chair Christine Pelosi, former San Francisco Supervisor Angela Alioto, SB 52 author former Senator Mark Leno, AB 2188 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, Clean Money volunteer Greg Pennington, SF Supervisor Board President Malia Cohen, Assemblymember David Chiu, SF activist Susan Pfeifer, SF Mayor London Breed, Senator Scott Wiener, Common Cause's Helen Grieco, and Clean Money President Trent Lange.
The picture on the bottom left shows four key political leaders for Open-Source voting systems: Christine Pelosi (long a leading advocate for Open-Source), Assemblymember David Chiu and Senator Scott Wiener (authors of our state budget request for Open-Source matching funds), and San Francisco Mayor London Breed (who supported San Francisco's budget request and is responsible for overseeing the City's development). On the bottom right is San Francisco Board President Malia Cohen (and soon-to-be seated on the state Board of Equalization), who made the linchpin budget request for San Francisco to allocate over $1.5 million to start developing an Open-Source voting system that all of California will be able to use.
After AB 2188 flew through the Assembly on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 62-13, Clean Money supporters filled the Senate Elections Committee to urge them to also pass it. And pass it they did, 4-1, thanks to "Yes" votes from Senate Elections Committee Chair Senator Henry Stern and Senators Ben Allen, Bob Hertzberg, and Connie Leyva! Here AB 2188 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin and Clean Money President Trent Lange celebrate the victory with the Clean Money activists who lined up to speak and urge the Committee to vote "Yes". AB 2155 also passed the committee 4-1!
In a huge victory, San Francisco approved over $1.2 million in funding to start developing an Open Source Paper Ballot Voting System over the next two years, on top of $300,000 already allocated — enough to start development! This is a big step towards replacing the insecure and secret software from corporate vendors now used to count votes. Huge thanks to the leadership of San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen and Mayor London Breed, plus Supervisors Jeff Sheehy and Catherine Stefani who spoke in support of funding.
The picture above shows supporters who testified at the San Francisco Budget Committee hearing on Open-Source Voting chaired by Supervisor Cohen. Along with Clean Money activists and Clean Money Trent Lange, the picture shows longtime Open-Source Voting activists Brent Turner of the California Association of Voting Officials, Jim Soper of the Voting Rights Task Force, and Christine Pelosi, chair of the California Democratic Party Women's Caucus. Over 12,000 Californians signed petitions for Open-Source funding, including nearly 2,000 from San Francisco!
— that good government groups united to stop on August 14
In 2018, California's legislature moved forward very important bills to limit the influence of Big Money on politics. But at nearly the last minute, a gut-and-amend bill was introduced that would have allowed the creation of four completely new political party committees directed by legislative leaders, letting them raise big checks and give unlimited amounts to candidates (AB 84).
AB 84 was strongly opposed by good government groups including California Common Cause, California Voices for Progress, CALPIRG, the League of Women Voters of California, Money Out Voters In, as well as California Clean Money Campaign. Our thorough analysis showed it would increase opportunities for special interests to write big checks to legislative leaders without compensating reform. It was also opposed by both the California Democratic and Republican Parties.
The picture shows so many Californians opposing AB 84 packed the Senate Elections Committee hearing room that the line filled the hallway. Over 10,000 Californians emailed or called their Senators demanding they vote "No". Fortunately, AB 84 was stopped after Clean Money Champions Senators Ben Allen and Henry Stern responded to their constituents and voted "No", and then all but one Senate Republican signed a letter saying they would vote against it. Republican Senators Anthony Cannella, Ling-Ling Chang, and Scott Wilk deserve special kudos for committing early to vote against AB 84, as does Senate Minority Leader Pat Bates for leading her caucus to oppose it.
Stopping AB 84 was a major victory, but we must remain vigilant to ensure California always goes forward, and never backward.
Earlier this year, the FCC killed Net Neutrality, leaving Americans without protection from anti-consumer and anti-democracy practices by ISPs like slowing down and even censoring particular content. Senators Scott Wiener and Kevin De León authored SB 822 to restore net neutrality to California, but it faced a tsunami of opposition from AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, and others in Big Telecom.
On August 22, the Assembly Communications Committee voted 9-3 to pass SB 822 after Assembly Communications Chair Miguel Santiago worked with Senator Wiener and joined as a principal coauthor! This came after over 60 people testified in support of SB 822, including 36 Clean Money supporters, many of them shown above with (front row) author Senator Wiener, principal coauthor Assemblymember Rob Bonta, and Clean Money President Trent Lange.
Governor Brown signed AB 2188, the Social Media DISCLOSE Act!
Our press release, "Landmark, first-in-the-nation disclosure legislation, Social Media DISCLOSE Act, signed by Governor Brown!", summed up the great news. As AB 2188 author and Clean Money Champion Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin said:
"Last year, the California DISCLOSE Act (AB 249) set the standard for campaign finance disclosure for print, television and radio ads, generated for and against state initiatives and candidates," said AB 2188 author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin. "AB 2188 extends those tough requirements to social media, giving voters the ability to see the top three funders of political ads on the various social media platforms."California Clean Money Campaign President Trent Lange said:
"With Governor Brown signing this landmark follow-up to the California DISCLOSE Act, we start shining a light on secret political money on social media by requiring, for the first time anywhere, that ballot measure ads and outside ads attacking or supporting candidates on social media show their top three funders," said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign. "Every American who cares about democracy owes Governor Brown, Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, and all the bold leaders in the California Legislature of both parties who helped AB 2188 pass an enduring debt of gratitude."In addition to the support of 31 state and national public interest organizations, sweeping grassroots activism and coalition support were fundamental to AB 2188's decisive passage. Tens of thousands signed paper petitions, sent emails, called, submitted official web comments, and more.
AB 2188 passed through the legislature on overwhelming bipartisan votes. It passed the Senate with Clean Money Champion Senator Jerry Hill as floor manager, in a landslide and bipartisan vote of 31-8 with every Democrat voting "Yes" joined by Republican Senators Anthony Cannella, Ling-Ling Chang, John Moorlach, Janet Nguyen, and Scott Wilk. It passed the Assembly 69-3 with 54 Democratic votes and with Assemblymember Dante Acosta showing particular bipartisan leadership for transparency in campaign financing by helping AB 2188 achieve a record 15 Republican Assembly votes, along with Assemblymembers Catharine Baker and Marc Steinorth standing out by speaking in support of AB 2188 on the Assembly floor.
The same day, Governor Brown also signed AB 2155, our bill to stop campaign advertisers from abusing the California DISCLOSE Act's clear formatting rules, and AB 2707, the bill for the Secretary of State to create a single website where you can look up all your elected officials, from President down to school board member. Both bills were authored by Assemblymember Mullin and supported by the California Clean Money Campaign.
All 3 were huge disclosure victories for Clean Money grassroots against Big Secret Money!
Clean Money President Trent Lange, SB 822 joint author Senator Kevin de León, principal coauthor Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, and author Senator Scott Wiener celebrate at a press conference after SB 822's signing.
Historic coalition victory! On the last day, Governor Brown signed SB 822, to restore Net Neutrality and make the internet equally available to all, after a massive outpouring of grassroots activism! SB 822 stops companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Frontier, and other ISPs from charging some websites more or less, slowing down or speeding up some sites, or even simply blocking content they dislike — all of which the FCC shockingly made legal in June.
SB 822 was supported by a giant coalition of consumer groups and organizations fighting special interests and entrenched power, and was a true grassroots victory. We delivered over 90,000 signatures to Governor Brown from Clean Money supporters and coalition partners. Tens of thousands called, emailed, tweeted, and even attended hearings. The legislature came through with overwhelming bipartisan victories due to the leadership of SB 822 authors Senators Scott Wiener and Kevin de León and principal coauthors like Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago and Rob Bonta.
You can read our press release with more details about how the victory happened. It will come as no surprise that Attorney General Jeff Sessions immediately sued to try to stop SB 822, despite the FCC's claim they don't have the authority to regulate Net Neutrality. California is on hold until national lawsuits over Net Neutrality conclude — but California took a stand and will fight for its right to require a fair and equal internet for all if the federal government doesn't.
Los Angeles, with 10% of California's population, is home to many key state legislators and sets an example for the state. That's why for several years California Clean Money Campaign and its allies California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of LA have been asking City Council to strengthen its system of public financing matching funds to magnify the power of small donors. This year, since the tremendous growth of the local coalition spearheaded by Unrig LA and other partners like LA Forward, City Council has finally started to act!
City Council has already increased the match to 6-to-1! Plus, an amendment by Councilmembers David Ryu and Joe Buscaino ensures matching funds benefit small donors and not big donors by matching only the first $115 from each contributor to City Council candidates. The picture above shows activists from Clean Money, Common Cause, League of Women Voters, and Unrig LA who spoke at City Council when these amendments passed on October 12th.
But more needs to be done to stop a drastic reduction in the number of qualified women and other candidates who can access matching funds. A coalition of 52 local, state, and national organizations supports an amendment by Councilmember MIke Bonin that a report by the California Clean Money Campaign shows is crucial.
California to Continue Leading Nation Against Big Money — With Your Help!
This year's amazing record — prevailing on an astounding 7 out of 7 Clean Money priorities — proved that beating Big Money in politics is possible when we all stand together and hold elected officials accountable. Great examples include passing landmark legislation like the California DISCLOSE Act last year and the Social Media DISCLOSE Act and Net Neutrality this year.
We're already hard at work on our next attacks against secretive Big Money in politics, like SB 47, the new Petition DISCLOSE Act, authored by Senator Allen, which will expose who's really behind initiatives trying to get on the ballot. We're also working on a bill to extend the DISCLOSE Act's tough disclosure rules to issue ads with Assemblmember Mullin. At the same time, we'll seek state funding for development of Open-Source Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems so vote-counting isn't done by easily hacked secret software from corporate vendors.
1) Become a member of the California Clean Money Action Fund to support our grassroots efforts against Big Money every month.
— NEW MEMBERS BY 12/31 GET MONTHLY DONATIONS DOUBLED FOR A YEAR!
2) Sign up as a Clean Money Rapid Responder to boost key Clean Money posts on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or DailyKos!
Thanks again for all you do, from everyone at California Clean Money,
— 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