Sacramento CA. Today the California State Assembly passed Senate Bill 27 with bipartisan, supermajority support (58 ayes -- 18 noes). This crucial campaign disclosure bill will go a long way toward California's campaign disclosure laws by closing the nonprofit reporting loophole.
SB 27 would require nonprofits that give large contributions to California campaigns to disclose their top donors. SB 27 also contains significant protections for donors who may not want their donation to go to politics, while simultaneously protecting organizations that only give nominal amounts to the political discourse.
In October of 2012, two out-of-state nonprofit organizations contributed $15 million to two campaign committees that opposed Proposition 30 and supported Proposition 32. California Common Cause filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to require the two groups to disclose their donors. In October of 2013, the FPPC levied a record fine of $1 million on these two campaign committees for improperly concealing their campaign contributions. Currently, California has collected only $300,000 of this $1 million fine.
SB 27 will next go back to the Senate for concurrence. Voters deserve to know who gives to political campaigns in order to properly inform their choices at the ballot box. We urge the Senate to pass SB 27 as amended and send the bill to the Governor so that voters are never left in the dark again.
Please contact Sarah Swanbeck if you have questions or need more information.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.