Featured Newspaper Editorials

California bill should expose 'dark money' behind campaigns

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 4/28/15

"The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed their right to spend unlimited amounts, as a matter of free speech. But it did not give them a right to hide their true identity."  Full story

Editorial: Legislators take a walk rather than expand campaign disclosure

Sacramento Bee, Editorial, 9/2/14

"In the legislative session just ended, state lawmakers gave speeches and cast votes intended to show they are on the side of good and open government... But they took a collective walk on one of the most far-reaching measures of the year, Senate Bill 52."  Full story

EDITORIAL: Assembly shamefully kills donor disclosure act

Fresno Bee, Editorial, 9/2/14

"The bill, which sought to amend California's Political Reform Act, required a two-thirds vote. The Democratic-controlled Senate had approved an early version of it in May. But in the Assembly, where Democrats hold even greater majority, the bill never even came up for a vote."  Full story

Our View: Like Toto, legislators must help pull back veil of secrecy

Modesto Bee, Editorial, 8/27/14

"Senate Bill 52 already has a name – the Disclose Act – but we prefer to think of it as Toto’s law. It begins to pull aside the curtain, exposing those who would tell us what to do or what to think when it comes to ballot propositions."  Full story

Our View: Like Toto, legislators must help pull back veil of secrecy

Merced Sun-Star, Editorial, 8/27/14

"In the age of Supreme Court decisions that grant corporations the free speech rights of citizens and allows them to spend as much money as they want to influence voters, we think this law is essential. The bill should be a no-brainer, a slam-dunk, a chip shot..."  Full story

Transparency's Unlikely Foe

East Bay Express, Editorial, 8/27/14

"In addition to requiring more transparency in political campaigns, SB 52 also would prohibit shadowy groups from funneling donations through several campaigns so as to keep the original source of the money secret.."  Full story

EDITORIAL: Our Valley Assembly members must back the DISCLOSE Act

Fresno Bee, Editorial, 8/27/14

"If, in the post-Citizens United era, there is no easy way to stem the tide of unlimited money in elections, voters and their elected leaders should insist upon the sunlight that SB 52 delivers..."  Full story

Mercury News editorial: Truth in campaign advertising should be the law

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 8/26/14

"Supreme Court rulings leave little room to regulate the influence of big money on political campaigns except in one very important area: disclosure..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

Long Beach Press Telegram, Editorial, 8/26/14

"The bill, SB 52, by San Francisco-area Democrats Mark Leno and Jerry Hill, is also known as the DISCLOSE Act. It stands for Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections. At least the clever name reflects its actual intent, unlike the names of many of the nice-sounding political-action groups we hear promoting this or that self-serving ballot measure."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

Los Angeles Daily News, Editorial, 8/26/14

"For Californians who know all about the problems caused by big money’s influence on elections, finding the solution remains easier said than done..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

Pasadena Star-News, Editorial, 8/26/14

"The funders named would have to be the people, organizations, corporations or labor unions that provided the original funding, rather than “front” groups..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Editorial, 8/26/14

"That last requirement would seek to prevent outrages like what happened before the 2012 California election, when an Arizona nonprofit with anonymous backing dropped $11 million into two proposition campaigns — to try to buy favor at the polls without showing their faces..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

San Bernardino Sun, Editorial, 8/26/14

"Tell your Assembly rep you want to know who’s paying for campaign ads — or know the reason why you can’t..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Editorial, 8/26/14

"But lawmakers like even less any change that makes political professionals’ jobs harder, which these campaign-ad requirements certainly would..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

Whittier Daily News, Editorial, 8/26/14

"Before a scheduled Assembly vote Saturday — on the final weekend of the 2014 legislative season — California residents must tell their representatives to support it..."  Full story

California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push: Editorial

Torrance Daily Breeze, Editorial, 8/26/14

"The bill has the backing of Southern California Democratic Assembly members Raul Bocanegra, Ian Calderon and Mike Gatto. It needs more.."  Full story

Editorial: Truth in campaign advertising should be the law

Vacaville Reporter, Editorial, 8/26/14

"It would require campaign material to include a readable (no fine print) and factual list of its three top funders instead of using generic committee names like "Citizens for Mom and Apple Pie" and a general description of the members.."  Full story

Editorial: Help voters by revealing who's paying for ads

Ventura County Star, Editorial, 8/20/14

"We have long supported reasonable steps to uncover the influence of special-interest money in politics. The Disclose Act does that, and it deserves the Assembly's full support."  Full story

Do-or-die time for campaign funding disclosure bill

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 8/13/14

"It's not just a bill, it's a movement," said Senator Mark Leno. "People are concerned that their democracy - something so precious to them - is being stolen and contorted."  Full story

Disclosure of campaign-ad funders needed

San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, 6/1/13

"SB 52, which advanced on a 28-11 vote, should help put an end to the nonsense of naming campaign committees in ways designed to intentionally confuse voters... The Assembly should move quickly to advance this important disclosure bill to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature."  Full story

EDITORIAL: End contribution secrets

Fresno Bee, Editorial, 5/25/13

"Since the infamous 2010 Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, our elections have been inundated with gobs of secret donations for spending by outside groups on political ads..."  Full story

Editorial: Bills could shed light on secret ballot money

Sacramento Bee, Editorial, 5/22/13

"This package of bills should get out of each house with a two-thirds vote by the end of this month. If there is no easy way to stem the tide of unlimited money in elections, voters and their elected leaders should insist upon greater transparency."  Full story

Our View: Bills would expose secret contributions

Merced Sun-Star, Editorial, 5/22/13

"Senate Bill 52, the California Disclose Act, would require all television, radio, print and other ads for ballot measures, independent expenditures and issue advocacy to identify the three largest donors of $10,000 or more for state races and $2,000 for local races..."  Full story

Our View: Bills would expose secret contributions

Modesto Bee, Editorial, 5/22/13

"This package of bills should get out of each house with a two-thirds vote by the end of this month. If there is no easy way to stem the tide of unlimited money in elections, voters and their elected leaders should insist upon greater transparency..."  Full story

Mercury News editorial: California DISCLOSE Act a must in the era of Citizens United

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 5/16/13

SB 52 authors Sen. Mark Leno and Sen. Jerry Hill are right: Voters can't do much to reduce the money in campaigns, but they have the right to know which individuals, corporations or unions it comes from.  Full story

Contra Costa Times editorial: Disclose source of money for all California political ads

Contra Costa Times, Editorial, 5/13/13

Californians should encourage state legislators to support the DISCLOSE Act, a bill by two San Francisco-area senators that would require the top three funders of political TV and radio commercials and print and online ads to be boldly identified in the ads.  Full story

Oakland Tribune editorial: Disclose source of money for all California political ads

Oakland Tribune, Editorial, 5/13/13

"SB 52 sponsors Sen. Jerry Hill and Sen. Mark Leno are right: Voters can't do much to reduce the money in campaigns, but they have the right to know which individuals, corporations or unions it comes from."  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

Los Angeles Daily News, Editorial, 5/9/13

"No fine print. None of the misleading names that special-interest groups like to go by. Instead, big, bold words right up front...? Californians should tell their lawmakers they approve this message: SB 52 would bring more vital transparency to state politics."  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

Long Beach Press Telegram, Editorial, 5/9/13

"California should lead the way on this reform. Many voters here were appalled when an Arizona nonprofit with anonymous backing dropped $11 million into two proposition campaigns. Under the DISCLOSE Act, an ad mostly paid for by money like that would have to say so."  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

Pasadena Star-News, Editorial, 5/9/13

"SB 52 sponsors Sen. Jerry Hill and Sen. Mark Leno are right: Voters can't do much to reduce the money in campaigns, but they have the right to know which individuals, corporations or unions it comes from..."  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

San Bernardino Sun, Editorial, 5/9/13

"I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message." Voters are used to that tagline on political ads... Shouldn't the same principle apply to political ads made by people and groups who aren't officially associated with candidates and ballot measures but wield just as much influence in elections?"  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Editorial, 5/9/13

"Californians should tell their lawmakers they approve this message: SB 52 would bring more vital transparency to state politics."  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

Whittier Daily News, Editorial, 5/9/13

"Californians should tell their lawmakers they approve this message: SB 52 would bring more vital transparency to state politics."  Full story

Editorial: California needs bill to rid campaign ads of anonymity

Torrance Daily Breeze, Editorial, 5/9/13

"Californians should tell their lawmakers they approve this message: SB 52 would bring more vital transparency to state politics."  Full story

Disclosure -- Yes on AB 1648

Sacramento News & Review, Editorial, 5/3/12

"That’s right, Toto. A.B. 1648 will mean that we can pay attention to what’s happening behind the curtain...  In order to wade through the political muck, we need to be able to follow the money.  The California Disclose Act is a step toward a more transparent process, and we urge readers to contact their state legislators to support its passage."   Full story

PD Editorial: Shining a light on California campaign cash

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, Editorial, 3/1/12

"Given a chance to make politics a little less opaque, California legislators blew it.? That’s the charitable interpretation, anyway...? Fortunately, supporters of the California DISCLOSE Act haven’t given up..."
  Full story

Editorial: Vote for transparency

Ventura County Star, Editorial, 2/29/12

"Despite heavy pressure from special interests, it's good to see supporters of a bill that aims to toughen the state's political reporting requirements aren't about to give up... We urge lawmakers to approve AB 1648.? And for those who vote to keep us in the dark, perhaps it's time to publicize their names for the voters to see."  Full story

A vote for transparency in California elections

Bakersfield Californian, Editorial, 2/29/12

"Now that state legislators are being given a do-over on the DISCLOSE Act, they must resist the urge to bury it as they did in January. Passing this bill is the right thing to do, especially given the large number of ballot initiatives and legislative seats up for grabs in this year's election..."  Full story

Another try for PAC disclosure

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Editorial, 2/18/12

"It's disappointing that state legislators failed last month - by only two votes - to pass a bill that would have required political action committees to come clean on who pays for their ads in California... Legislators need to quickly get behind the new bill, A.B. 1648."   Full story

Another try for PAC disclosure

San Bernardino Sun, Editorial, 2/18/12

"Given the huge number of campaigns gearing up for both candidates and initiatives on the November ballot, we need this legislation now... Legislators need to quickly get behind the new bill, A.B. 1648."  Full story

Mercury News editorial: Political disclosure deserves second act

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 2/17/12

"Legislators need to quickly get behind the new bill, AB 1648. There's no reason to conceal who's behind an ad campaign to influence voters.? Or rather, there's no honorable reason. "  Full story

Editorial: Keep political ads accountable: AB 1148 would require publicizing major donors

Long Beach Press Telegram, Editorial, 1/27/12

"Misleading political ads are a huge problem in California. In 2010, more than $235 million was spent on state ballot measure advertisements.  Most of the ads were paid for by groups with mysterious origins and innocuous-sounding names, according to the California Clean Money Campaign, which is the force behind this bill... California needs AB 1148."  Full story

Mercury News editorial: Let California voters follow the money

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 1/26/12

"Opposition is strong from moneyed interests that would prefer to anonymously slime candidates they don't like.  Lawmakers need to stand up for what's right...  legislators need to come down on the side of voters and transparency."   Full story

Editorial: Telling the truth about sources of campaign cash

Ventura County Star, Editorial, 1/25/12

"In the opinion of The Star, AB 1148 merits approval. We think the Assembly would be well advised to OK it without hesitation.  The legislation is a well-thought-out attempt to give voters more information so they can make good decisions on Election Day."
  Full story

Shining a light on political ads

Merced Sun-Star, Editorial, 1/23/12

"Under AB 1148, the three largest funders of an ad would be identified.  Whether such a shift in campaign disclosures will have a great impact on future elections is yet unknown, but the time is right for AB 1148; the Assembly Appropriations Committee passed it Thursday."  Full story

Shining a light on political ads

San Bernardino Sun, Editorial, 1/21/12

"The time is right for AB 1148; the Assembly Appropriations Committee passed it Thursday.  It faces future challenges in Sacramento, however, where lawmakers benefit the most from political ads on their behalf."   Full story

OUR VIEW: Who's behind that ad? A fair question

Bakersfield Californian, Editorial, 1/21/12

"If super PACs can spend millions to influence our votes, shouldn't we know who's truly behind them?...  Now California lawmakers have an opportunity to do something about the situation: The California DISCLOSE Act."   Full story

Our View: Keep donors' names public

Pasadena Star-News, Editorial, 1/21/12

"Misleading political ads are a huge problem in California. In 2010, more than $235 million was spent on state ballot measure advertisements. Most of the ads were paid for by groups with mysterious origins and innocuous-sounding names, according to the California Clean Money Campaign, which is the force behind this bill..."  Full story

Shining a light on political ads

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Editorial, 1/21/12

"AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act, sponsored by Los Angeles Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, would stop major donors from hiding behind the innocuous-sounding names of PACs in political ad campaigns..."  Full story

More Transparency

La Opinion, Editorial, 1/20/12

"The California DISCLOSE Act, AB 1148, introduced by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, is a step forward in bringing transparency to the process...  We hope lawmakers support voters' right to information by backing AB 1148, and that they do not give in to other interests, even those that supported them in the past."   Full story

Editorial: Keep political ads accountable

Los Angeles Daily News, Editorial, 1/19/12

"California needs AB 1148. Fuentes, who has expressed concern about the cost of putting the measure on the ballot if it passes in the Legislature, hasn't said whether he supports the bill. For the sake of voters, he should."   Full story

Mercury News editorial: Let California Voters See Who Funds Campaign Ads

San Jose Mercury News, Editorial, 1/18/12

"California lawmakers have an opportunity to shine light into the shadows that can hide the big money donors who pay for political campaign ads... This is a step toward giving voters the information we need to identify who's backing political campaigns."   Full story

Voters deserve to know who's behind TV ads

Bakersfield Californian, Editorial, 11/7/11

"The California Clean Money Campaign, an organization that has been active in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, is beginning to stake out territory in the San Joaquin Valley, starting in Stockton and Fresno...  AB 1148's supporters include the League of Women Voters of California and California Common Cause. Add The Californian's name to that list."  Full story

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