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.
The DISCLOSE Act would require that the three biggest
contributors to any political advertisement include their
names in large type and their logos on the ad, whether it's
a mailer or a spot on TV or radio. No longer would wealthy
individuals, unions or corporations be able to hide behind
such monikers as the "California Jobs Initiative" (aka oil
companies) or "Californians Against the Wrong
Prescriptions" (aka drug companies). Their identity would
be clear to voters, the intended target of such ads.
The bill would give voters more information on who is
supporting a particular initiative or candidate, and it
lifts the veil on the power players who seek to influence
We may never eradicate the power of money to influence
politics, but our state leaders can commit to transparency
and disclosure in elections. Transparency sends an
important signal to increasingly cynical voters: U.S.
democracy is accessible. State legislators must cast a vote
for the state's voters and pass the DISCLOSE Act.