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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 10.6.2017

Janitors who vouched for Ref Rodriguez in school board race are named in his money-laundering case

Kathy Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, an ethics watchdog group, said employee donors are worrisome. "There's been a long history of coercion of employees to take political positions or make donations at the direction of their employers," Feng said. "There is a power relationship. A staff person might feel compelled to donate regardless of how they might feel personally about a candidate or a campaign."

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.

Common Cause suggests independent redraw of Yolo County districts for 2020

“Some counties have had nasty battles over redistricting,” Heidorn said. “They (tell Common Cause): ‘we don’t want to touch redistricting; we want someone else to do it.’” California adopted a Redistricting Commission earlier this decade, which is now considered a model for other states as it ensured greater non-partisan preferences for voting regions covering the state Assembly and Senate.

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.”

Voting & Elections 08.29.2017

California resolution urges other states to oppose Trump’s election commission

Elected officials, representatives and voting rights advocates have partnered in the past to make voting convenient and without risking voters’ security, according to Board Chair at California Common Cause Chair Jonathan Stein.

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