Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin Steps Up to Take on Authorship of AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act

* California Clean Money Campaign calls upon Senate Rules Committee to grant his request and give AB 249 a hearing

By Press Release
California Clean Money Campaign, July 14th, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA - One of the most important disclosure bills in the nation, AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act, should soon be getting a new author, Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo). Assemblymember Mullin is seeking to replace its original author, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), who is now in Congress.

"Transparency in elections is critical to our democracy and that includes transparency around the money being spent on campaigns. I have requested permission to take over as the lead author of AB 249, also known as the California DISCLOSE Act," said Assemblymember Mullin. "I am excited to work with my colleagues and Clean Money supporters to champion this bill and seriously address the issue of campaign disclosure."

Under AB 249, all ballot measure committees and independent expenditure committees for and against candidates will be required to display the names of their top 3 funders on a solid black background on the bottom third of the screen for a full 5 seconds in television and video ads. Each name must be displayed on a separate line in a large clear font. Similar disclosure rules will exist for radio ads, print ads, and robocalls.

Perhaps most importantly, AB 249 creates new follow-the-money rules for earmarking contributions to ballot measures to identify their true funders when they try to hide behind front groups with misleading names. No other disclosure law in the country does as much.

"Voters want and deserve transparency in campaign advertisements. To that end, I look forward to working with Assemblymember Mullin to bring the DISCLOSE Act over the finish line this year in AB 249,", said Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), a Principal Coauthor of AB 249.

"I look forward to working with Assemblymember Mullin as we continue our fight to shine a light on hidden money in politics," said Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), a Principal Coauthor of AB 249.

One of Assemblymember Gomez' last official acts while he was still in the Assembly was to deliver amendments making Assemblymember Mullin the new lead author of AB 249. Unfortunately, the Senate Rules Committee did not accept those amendments. Now Assemblymember Mullin has put in an official request under Senate Rule 26 to take over authorship of AB 249, which the Senate Rules Committee will have to approve, hopefully at its next scheduled meeting next Wednesday, July 19.

"We are thrilled that Assemblymember Mullin has stepped up to lead in passing this crucial transparency legislation into law now that Assemblymember Gomez is in Congress", said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, sponsor of AB 249. "We call upon Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon and his Senate Rules Committee to allow this incredibly important and popular disclosure bill to have the author we've requested and to quickly give it a hearing and a vote."

Wednesday, the California Clean Money Campaign delivered signatures from 81,801 Californians this year to Senate President pro Tem de Leon's office urging him to pass the California DISCLOSE Act. One of the largest coalition petitions ever for state legislation is behind AB 249, including 23 state and national good government organizations ranging from Common Cause, Maplight, Money Out/Voters In and Public Citizen to Courage Campaign, CREDO, Daily Kos, Fight for Reform, SumOfUs, and the California League of Conservation Voters.

Californians from all major political parties have overwhelmingly stated their support for greater disclosure. A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California in October 2013 found 84 percent of likely California voters favored legislation to increase public disclosure of funding sources in initiative campaigns. Those in favor include 80 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Independents.

"The California DISCLOSE Act is critical to stopping ballot measure ads from intentionally deceiving voters about who pays for them," said Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), Chair of the Senate Elections Committee and a Principal Coauthor of AB 249. "The legislature needs to weigh in and hopefully move this important disclosure bill forward in time for it to be in effect for the 2018 elections."

DISCLOSE is an acronym for Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections.


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The California Clean Money Campaign is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization that has been dedicated to educating the public about the need to lessen the unfair influence of Big Money on election campaigns since 2001. 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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