Initial Bills for 2013-2014 Clean Money Scorecard Announced

By Press Release
California Clean Money Action Fund, March 17th, 2014

from the California Clean Money Action Fund

Contact: Trent Lange

Los Angeles - The California Clean Money Action Fund announced the bills that will be scored in the 2013-2014 California Clean Money Scorecard. The scorecard rates legislators on how often they side with regular Californians by voting for key campaign finance reform and disclosure legislation that is overwhelmingly popular with voters. The 2011-2012 edition of the scorecard can be seen at

"Voters need to know which legislators are Clean Money Champions fighting for real campaign finance reform, and which instead side more often with Big Money special interests", said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Action Fund. "Our Clean Money Scorecard helps shine light on who's working to make candidates and elected officials more accountable to voters than to campaign contributors, Dark Money, and Super PACs."

Behind the scenes activity can be as important as votes themselves. The Clean Money Scorecard takes that into account by giving positive "Insider Scores" to legislators who author or co-author bills or who otherwise help pass reform. When individual legislators are known to have blocked progress, they receive negative "Insider Scores".

The bills identified for the 2013-2014 Scorecard are:

SB 52 (Leno-Hill), the California DISCLOSE Act. Sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign. SB 52 requires political ads for ballot measures and outside ads for and against candidates to clearly show their three largest funders (two in the case of radio ads). It includes language for disclosures to "follow the money" so the funders shown are the actual original corporations, unions, or individuals that gave the most, not misleading names.

Columnist Thomas Elias called "the DISCLOSE Act the most important bill the Legislature considered in the past year... It will be again in 2014." As such, SB 52 will have the highest weight in the scorecard. SB 52 passed the Senate last year and will likely appear in the Assembly Elections committee on June.

SB 27 (Correa), the "Dark Money" non-profit bill. Sponsored by the Fair Political Practices Commission. SB 27 closes the loophole that allows contributors to avoid disclosure by giving through non-profit organizations. SB 27 has passed both the Senate and the Assembly, and faces a concurrence vote in the Senate at any time.

SB 2 (Lieu-Yee), the Sunshine in Campaigns Act. Sponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California. SB 2 requires candidates to "stand by their ad", requires more disclosures on slate mailers, and raises fines on violations of campaign, lobbying, or ethics laws. SB 2 has passed the Senate, passed Assembly committees, and awaits an Assembly floor vote.

SB 3 (Yee-Lieu), the Sunshine in Campaigns Act. Sponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California. SB 3 required the Secretary of State to complete by the end of this year a feasibility report on modernizing its antiquated website tracking campaign contributions and lobbyists, and required campaign treasurers to take an online training course. It was passed by the legislature last year but vetoed by Governor Brown.

SB 844 (Pavley), Top 10 Contributor Lists for Ballot Measures. SB 844 will require the Secretary of State website to keep lists of the top 10 contributors for and against each ballot measure, and require the ballot pamphlet to tell voters where they can find them. SB 844 is scheduled for its first committee hearing in Senate Elections on March 18.

Bills may be added to the scorecard if they are endorsed by the California Clean Money Campaign and the broader good government community.

The California Clean Money Action Fund is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization that has been fighting for legislation and ballot measures to limit the undue influence of Big Money in politics in California since 2006.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)