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
Last month, Assembly Bill 1148, the California Disclose
Act, failed by two votes to win the needed two-thirds
majority. The rejection by lawmakers was an affront to
voters, who, according to an October Field Poll, support
increased disclosure, with an overwhelming 84 percent of
them in favor.
The bill, carried by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa
Monica, would have forced political ads placed by
special-interest groups (read PACs) on TV, radio and in
print, their mass mailers and websites to report the actual
names of the top three contributors giving $10,000 or more,
whether they're individuals, businesses or other types of
organizations (read unions).
It would have also required a website address be published
so the public could find additional information about the
top 10 financial contributors.
Like its predecessor, the new California Disclose Act, AB
1648, introduced Feb. 13 by Assemblywoman Brownley would
bring out from hiding the three largest contributors behind
campaigns and ballot initiatives, especially those that
deliberately attempt to fool voters with titles such as
"Voters for a More Prosperous California" or "Taxpayers
Right to Vote Act" or "California Jobs Initiative."
AB 1648 is a common-sense measure that will give voters
more information so they can make sound, informed decisions
on Election Day. As we stated in a previous editorial
supporting AB 1148: "It is a reasonable step aimed at
uncovering the influence of special-interest money in
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.