SACRAMENTO, CA -- Momentum continues to build for one of
the most important disclosure bills in the nation, AB 249,
the California DISCLOSE Act, as the bill acquires
its first endorsement from a statewide labor organization,
the Communication Workers of America, District 9.
"The Communications Workers of America (CWA), District 9
strongly supports AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act,"
said Tom Runnion, Vice President of Communications Workers
of America, District 9. "We firmly believe that
requiring clear disclosure of the largest funders of ballot
measure advertisements would benefit both working families
and voters in California."
Under AB 249, all ballot measure advertisements and
independent expenditure ads for or against candidates will
be required to display their top 3 funders on a solid black
background on the bottom third of the screen for 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
Perhaps most importantly, AB 249 creates new
follow-the-money rules for earmarking contributions to
ballot measures in order to identify the true funders when
they try to hide behind front groups with misleading names.
These rules will apply whether the original funders are
unions, corporations, or billionaires. No other disclosure
law in the country does as much.
"It's great news that the District 9 Communication
Workers of America are supporting AB 249," said
Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, author of AB 249.
"As we continue our efforts to garner support for
reforming financial disclosure in California's ballot
measure process, endorsements from groups like the CWA help
build positive energy and momentum."
CWA's endorsement adds to the extremely broad support for
AB 249. Last month, the California Clean Money Campaign,
sponsor of AB 249, delivered signatures from 81,801
Californians for the California DISCLOSE Act, all
gathered in 2017. One of the largest ever coalition
petitions for state legislation formed 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.
"We are very happy that the Communications Workers of
America District 9 has added their voices to the broad
coalition behind the California DISCLOSE Act," said
Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money
Campaign, sponsor of AB 249. "Californians from all
walks of life have been crying out for truth in political
ads. It's time to stop ballot measure ads from lying to
voters about who paid for them."
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% of likely California voters favored
legislation to increase public disclosure of funding
sources in initiative campaigns. Those in favor included
80% of Republicans, 81% of Democrats, and 85% of
Independents. An earlier Field Poll showed that 84% of
California union members and 83% of tea party members
favored increasing public disclosure requirements of
initiative sponsors to more clearly identify the major
"This should not be controversial. Labor funders almost
never hide on ballot measure ads," said Tom Runnion,
Vice President of CWA. "AB 249 will stop voters from
being routinely and legally misled about the true funders
of such ballot measure ads in the future."
DISCLOSE is an acronym for Democracy is Strengthened by
Casting Light on Spending in Elections.
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.