Bipartisan Launch of new California DISCLOSE ACT Draws Endorsements from Leading Reform Groups

* League of Women Voters of California, California Common Cause, and California Church IMPACT join the California Clean Money Campaign in endorsing AB 1648

By Press Release
California Clean Money Campaign, February 20th, 2012

SAN DIEGO - The League of Women Voters of California, California Common Cause, and California Church IMPACT joined the California Clean Money Campaign in endorsing AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act. AB 1648 is a new, bi-partisan effort to require greater transparency in political ads that was launched today in San Diego by Assembly members Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, and Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego.

Nationally, Super PACs that hide their funders have had an outsized effect on the presidential election, with over $51 million spent nationally in the 2012 election cycle as of February 18th, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In California, over $235 million was spent on ballot measures in 2010 alone, most by special interests hiding behind committees with misleading names.

Authored by Assemblymember Brownley and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, AB 1648 will require political television, radio, and print ads to clearly identify their three largest funders of $10,000 or more with their names and logos so voters know who is actually paying for them. These requirements will apply to both ads for or against ballot measures and independent expenditure ads for or against candidates. AB 1648 is a new, stronger version of AB 1148, a bill that fell just two votes short of its required 2/3 majority on January 31st.

"The League works to make sure that all voters go to the polls fully informed about the issues on the ballot," said Jennifer A. Waggoner, President of the League of Women Voters of California. "The California DISCLOSE Act gives voters needed information in a form that they can understand ― no more political gobbledygook covering up who is behind political ads."

"California Common Cause strongly supports these disclosure provisions because every election cycle special interests flood voter's airwaves and mailboxes with messages from political action committees and ballot measure committees.", said Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. "These PACs and other committees consistently employ deceitful names and monikers in an attempt to fool voters. California voters deserve to have honest information about who is funding political campaigns."

Californians from all major political parties have overwhelmingly stated their support in polls for public disclosure of ballot initiative sponsors and their major donors. A Field Poll late last year indicated 84 percent of registered California voters favored legislation to increase public disclosure requirements of initiative sponsors, including 78 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Independents.

"We are excited to have the bipartisan leadership of Assembly members Brownley and Fletcher in the fight for real transparency and disclosure in political advertising," said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign. "There is a growing movement of Californians demanding the California DISCLOSE Act because people want to know who is really paying for political ads, whether they are the hidden funders of the Colbert Super PAC or the largest special interests in California."

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The California Clean Money Campaign is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to lessening the unfair influence of Big Money on election campaigns. For further information, visit www.CAclean.org.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

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