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Voting & Elections 10.3.2018

New State Law Requires More Transparency From Social Media Political Ads

“This is part of a much larger conversation now. The timing of the bill was opportune,” said Kathy Feng, executive director for California Common Cause, a political transparency group that supported the bill. Brown signed the bill Sept. 26, but did not issue a statement about it.

Money & Influence 09.20.2018

California watchdog agency prohibits use of cryptocurrency for campaign contributions

California’s campaign finance watchdog agency voted Thursday to prohibit the use of cryptocurrency including bitcoin for political contributions in the state amid concerns that the anonymity it provides would make it difficult to identify who is trying to influence elections.

Money & Influence 07.23.2018

Not so fast! Watchdog commission puts brakes on efforts to increase donor limits for legislative leaders

In a 2-2 vote by the California Fair Political Practices Commission last week, the commission declined to endorse a proposal that would give greater power and fundraising ability to state legislative leaders, while creating new reporting requirements.  Common Cause California and other open government groups warned against fast-track approval of the proposal. 

Money & Influence 10.9.2017

California to Require Full Disclosure of Who Pays for Political Ads

CA Common Cause also advocated strongly for the bill. “Every voter has a right to know who is trying to influence our votes and our Legislature,” said Nicolas Heidorn, the group’s legislative affairs director, in a statement. “While Congress and federal agencies fail to act to require more transparency in the post-Citizens United era, the Disclose Act will continue California’s leadership in building a strong and transparent democracy.”

Money & Influence 10.4.2017

Voters deserve to know who’s bankrolling shadowy political campaigns

A typical political ad for a ballot measure in California might include something like this: "Paid for by Yes on Proposition 99 — Good Jobs and Safe Streets, with major funding by People for Good Jobs and Safe Streets." This meets the legal requirement of disclosure under current rules, but it doesn't give voters any help at all identifying the real people, organizations and industries propping up this fictional initiative. In fact, it may even be misleading. And in this post-Citizens United world, where campaign spending has soared, clear disclosure of who is funding measures and candidates is more important than ever.

Money & Influence 08.30.2017

Campaign-Finance ‘Dark Money’ Bill Clears Key California Senate Committee

“This is the most important campaign-finance law before the Legislature this year,” Nicolas Heidorn of the citizens’ watchdog group California Common Cause said. “When you know who the messenger is you can more effectively evaluate the message. By removing the veil of anonymity, we force groups to put their brand next to their words, which will help nudge our politics slowly towards the ideals of an open legislature. This is a ‘We the People’ issue.”

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