Brown vetoes disclosure, voters still record win

Brown vetoes disclosure, voters still record win

The home of Silicon Valley is one step closer to replacing our 14-year old antiquated campaign finance disclosure system under a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown and cosponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California. In 2011, the Secretary of State's Cal-Access system "‘ containing all state campaign finance and lobbying information "‘ crashed for six weeks. Since the system's failure, campaign finance reform advocates and public officials have taken steps to replace the 14-year old system.


Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed campaign disclosure legislation cosponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California. Senate Bill 3 was passed by the Legislature with bipartisan support and had the support of a broad coalition, including the California Secretary of State. So how is it possible for a veto by Governor Brown can still considered a (partial) victory for the public?

So as a primer, Senate Bill 3 did three things: 1) mandated online training of all campaign treasurers, 2) required a feasibility study for upgrades to our aging online disclosure system, and 3) raises fines on those who file late campaign, lobbying, and conflict of interest forms. Pretty common sense stuff that earned supermajority support in both houses of the Legislature. I was pretty upset when word first came that he had vetoed the bill, but my animosity calmed as I read Governor Brown’s veto message.

First off, we strongly disagree with the Governor’s claim the Fair Political Practices Commission does “extensive training and outreach” to treasurer’s. The main reason we carried the mandatory online training provision is local jurisdictions and city clerks do not believe the FPPC does enough. The FPPC intermittent training in various jurisdictions is hardly “extensive”. Unfortunately we think the Governor and the FPPC were wrong and out of touch on this issue.