Bills Against Citizens United Added to 2013-2014 Clean Money Scorecard

By Press Release
California Clean Money Action Fund, May 23rd, 2014

from the California Clean Money Action Fund

Contact: Trent Lange

Los Angeles - The California Clean Money Action Fund announced that it is updating the California Clean Money Scorecard for 2013-2014 by adding two bills that call for overturning the Supreme Court's Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings: SB 1272 (Lieu) and AJR 1 (Gatto).

The scorecard rates legislators on how often they side with regular Californians by voting for legislation containing key campaign finance and disclosure reforms that are overwhelmingly popular with voters.? The 2011-2012 edition of the scorecard can be seen at

SB 1272 (Lieu), the Overturn Citizens United Act.? Sponsored by the Money Out Voters In Coalition.? SB 1272 would put an advisory question on the November ballot that lets California voters tell Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and to regulate campaign contributions and spending.? SB 1272 passed the Senate Elections committee on a vote of 4-1 and is now in the Senate Appropriations committee.

AJR 1 (Gatto), an official call for an Article V Constitutional Convention.? AJR 1 would officially petition Congress for a federal constitutional convention for the purpose of solely amending the United States Constitution with a single amendment to limit "corporate personhood" for purposes of campaign finance and political speech, and declare that money does not constitute speech.? AJR 1 passed the Assembly on a vote of 51-20 and will be in the Senate Judiciary committee in June.

"The Supreme Court's Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions have gutted more than a hundred years of campaign finance laws with the outrageous rationale that limiting spending on elections limits speech," said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Action Fund.? "SB 1272 and AJR 1 are two important ways for California to call for overturning them, and so are crucial additions to the Clean Money Scorecard's efforts to shed light on which legislators are Clean Money Champions fighting for real campaign finance reform, and which instead side more often with Big Money special interests."

The bills previously announced for inclusion in the 2013-2014 Scorecard are:

SB 52 (Leno-Hill), the California DISCLOSE Act.? Sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign.? SB 52 requires political ads for ballot measures and outside ads for and against candidates to clearly show their three largest funders (two in the case of radio ads).? It includes language for disclosures to "follow the money" so the funders shown are the actual original corporations, unions, or individuals that gave the most-- not misleading names.

Columnist Thomas Elias called "the DISCLOSE Act the most important bill the Legislature considered in the past year....? It will be again in 2014."? As such, SB 52 will have the highest weight in the scorecard.? SB 52 passed the Senate last year and will appear in the Assembly Elections committee in June.

SB 27 (Correa), the "Dark Money" non-profit bill.? Sponsored by the Fair Political Practices Commission.? SB 27 closes the loophole that allows contributors to avoid disclosure by giving through non-profit organizations.? SB 27 was signed into law by Governor Brown on May 13th, 2014 after passing both the Assembly and the State Senate with overwhelming and bipartisan votes of 58-12 and 28-7, respectively.? It will go into effect on July 1st, 2014.

SB 2 (Lieu-Yee), the Sunshine in Campaigns Act.? Sponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California.? SB 2 requires candidates to "stand by their ad", requires more disclosure on slate mailers, and raises fines on violations of campaign, lobbying, or ethics laws.? SB 2 has passed the Senate, passed Assembly committees, and awaits an Assembly floor vote.

SB 3 (Yee-Lieu), the Sunshine in Campaigns Act.? Sponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California.? SB 3 required the Secretary of State to complete by the end of this year (2014) a feasibility report on modernizing its antiquated website tracking campaign contributions and lobbyists, and required campaign treasurers to take an online training course.? It was passed by the legislature last year but vetoed by Governor Brown.

SB 844 (Pavley), Top 10 Contributor Lists for Ballot Measures.? SB 844 will require the Secretary of State website to display lists of the top 10 contributors for and against each ballot measure, and require the ballot pamphlet to state where voters can find them.? SB 844 passed the Senate Elections committee unanimously and is now in the Senate Appropriations committee.

Bills may be added to the scorecard if they are endorsed by the California Clean Money Campaign and the broader good government community.

The California Clean Money Action Fund is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization that has been fighting for legislation and ballot measures to limit the undue influence of Big Money in politics in California since 2006.

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