(SACRAMENTO, CA) -- Senate Bill 1360, California's
Disclosure Clarity Act, jointly authored by Senators Thomas
J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana), and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica),
cleared its first legislative hurdle this morning.
SB 1360 will give California the first law in the nation to
require online image and banner ads to clearly and
prominently show their top funder on the ad itself. It will
also require formatting changes to make television and
video ad disclosures more readable and stop committees from
purposefully using extremely long committee names to make
it difficult for voters to read the top three funders in
the five seconds the disclosure is on the screen.
"People shouldn't have to pause their TVs or computers,
squint, or run to the kitchen for their reading glasses to
determine who is funding political ads," said Senator
Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana). "Transparency in our
political process is more important than ever and voters
deserve to be treated respectfully."
Following an election in which more money was spent on
ballot propositions than ever in California history,
Senators Umberg and Allen are authoring the Disclosure
Clarity Act to counteract the flood of ads and initiative,
referendum, and recall petitions that skirt California's
landmark California DISCLOSE Act in order to hide from
voters who really paid for them.
SB 1360 will also ensure that voters approached to sign
initiative, referendum, and recall petitions are shown an
official list of the top three funders of the circulation.
SB 47 (Allen), the Petition DISCLOSE Act, signed into law
in 2019, requires that if funders are listed on a separate
official top funders sheet circulators must show it to
voters, yet many fail to do so.
SB 1360 is backed by legislators who led the passage of
California's nation-leading DISCLOSE Act bills. Senators
Umberg and Allen plus principal coauthor Senator Henry
Stern (D-Calabasas) are all former chairs of the Senate
Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
Principal coauthors also include Speaker Pro Tem Kevin
Mullin, author of the 2017 California DISCLOSE Act,
Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes, author of the 2019 Text
Message DISCLOSE Act, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago,
author of the current Ballot DISCLOSE Act, and Assembly
Member Al Muratsuchi.
"California has passed the strongest disclosure laws for
political ads and initiative, referendum, and recall
campaigns in the nation. But now some campaigns are
flooding the internet with online graphic ads and purposely
hiding the ball on other types of ads," said Trent Lange,
President of the California Clean Money Campaign, sponsor
of SB 1360. "That's why we're so thrilled that Senators
Umberg and Allen have introduced SB 1360 to ensure that
voters know who is really funding campaigns no matter the
type of ad or petition."
SB 1360 was approved today by the Senate Elections and
Constitutional Amendments Committee in a party-line vote of
4-1. It will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations
Committee. A fact sheet containing updated support and
information about the measure is attached, for additional
Senator Thomas J. Umberg represents the 34th Senate
District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Fountain
Valley, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los
Alamitos, Midway City, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and
Westminster. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, former
federal prosecutor, and small businessman.
He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA
(ret.), live in Orange County.