Assembly Elections Committee Passes Suite Of Campaign Disclosure Legislation

Media Contact:

August 13, 2013

Phillip Ung (916) 520-4070

Assembly Elections Committee Passes Suite of Campaign Disclosure Legislation

Bills will increase transparency and accountability in state elections; prevent nonprofits from giving millions anonymously as was the case of 2012

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting approved three measures that will dramatically change campaign finance laws to increase transparency and accountability in state elections. This suite of bills was introduced in response to the 2012 scandal when an out-of-state nonprofit contributed $11 million to two state ballot measure campaigns and refused to disclose their source of funds.

“As the complainants of the ongoing investigation against Americans for Responsible Leadership and proponents of wholesale campaign finance reform, Common Cause sees this victory in the Assembly Elections Committee as an important step towards exposing ‘dark money’,” said Phillip Ung, policy advocate for Common Cause. “This package of bills will be the most comprehensive update in California campaign disclosure law in the 21st century. It is essential that California be proactive in the post-Citizens United political environment.”

Senate Bill 2 (Lieu, Yee) will require state and local candidates to Stand By Your Ad and “approve” advertisements akin to the requirements of federal candidates; significantly raise fines against PACs and lobbyists who violate the Political Reform Act; and increase slate mailer disclosure to allow voters to identify Super PAC involvement.

Senate Bill 3 (Yee, Lieu) will take significant steps towards replacing the outdated Cal-Access system that suffered a month-long crash in 2011; require treasurer training to improve accountability of all campaigns; and raise fines on campaigns who file late reports.

Senate Bill 27 (Correa) will close the Citizens United loophole exploited in 2012 by out-of-state nonprofit groups who refused to disclose dark money donors.

California Common Cause is a non-partisan, non-profit that strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.