SACRAMENTO - The League of Women Voters of California
announced its support for the California DISCLOSE Act
requiring greater transparency in the election campaign
process. The League joins the California Clean Money
Campaign, California Common Cause, California Church
Impact, and the California Nurses Association in endorsing
AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act.
Authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica)
and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, AB
1148 will require the largest funder of each political
television, video and radio add to "stand by their ad",
identifying themselves, and saying that they "helped
pay for this message and approve it." These
requirements will apply to both ballot measure ads and
independent expenditure ads for or against a candidate. No
one will be able to miss who the largest funders of ads
"The League works to make sure that all voters go to
the polls fully informed about the issues on the
ballot," said Jennifer A. Waggoner, President of the
League of Women Voters of California. "The California
DISCLOSE Act gives voters needed information in a form that
they can understand-no more political gobbledygook covering
up who is behind political ads."
The California DISCLOSE Act requires the largest funder of
political ads to be clearly and unambiguously identified,
on the ads themselves, so voters know who is actually
paying for them. Political advertising is more and more
often paid for by corporations and wealthy individuals,
often hiding behind deceptively named organizations.
According to FollowtheMoney.org, over $235 million was
spent on California ballot measures in 2010 alone, most by
corporations hiding behind committees with misleading
names. A recent study by the New York City Public Advocate
showed that anonymous spending groups are significantly
more likely to fund negative advertisements.
"AB 1148 is a far-reaching effort to lift the veil on
the hidden Big Money political campaign spenders in
California," said Trent Lange, President of the
California Clean Money Campaign, the sponsor of the
California DISCLOSE Act. "The League of Women Voters of
California's endorsement is a testament to how it would
stop special interests from being able to influence
elections without voters knowing who's really behind the
ads they're seeing."
AB 1148 applies to all ads supporting or opposing ballot
measures or ads supporting or opposing candidates paid for
by independent expenditures. As an amendment to the
Political Reform Act of 1974, the California DISCLOSE Act
can either be put into effect by a 2/3 vote of the
legislature or by a majority vote placing a measure on the
ballot for the voters to decide.
"The California DISCLOSE Act is a critical piece of
legislation to fight unregulated corporate influence over
California elections", said Jo Seidita, Chair of the
California Clean Money Campaign. "Californians have a
right to know who is financing the ads that they are
constantly bombarded with during election season."
There is overwhelming bipartisan support of legislation
requiring greater disclosure in political ads. 91% of
Democrats, 91% of Independents, and 87% of Republicans
favored legislation requiring ads to say which corporations
paid for them, in a national poll done by Hart Research in
The California Clean Money Campaign is a non-partisan
501(c)3 organization dedicated to lessening the unfair
influence of Big Money on election campaigns. For further
information, visit www.CAclean.org.