CULVER CITY, CA - Following an election in which more money
was spent on ballot propositions than ever in California
history, Senators Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) and Ben Allen
(D-Los Angeles) have introduced SB 1360, 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 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.
"Californians deserve to know who is funding political
ads no matter what format the ads are in," said
Senator Umberg. "That's why it's so important to
require large online ads to show their top funder on the ad
clearly and to stop committees from making it difficult to
read the top funders on television and video ads."
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.
"The 2017 passage of the California DISCLOSE Act and
the 2019 passage of the Petition DISCLOSE Act brought
much-needed transparency to political campaign funding in
the Golden State," said Senator Allen, who authored a
previous version of SB 1360. "Now we must ensure that
campaigners and paid signature-gatherers cannot circumvent
SB 1360 is introduced with the backing of 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
"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."
The bill will be assigned to the Senate Elections and
Constitutional Amendments Committee and will be heard
sometime in March or April.
The California Clean Money Campaign is a non-partisan
501(c)(3) organization that has been dedicated to educating
the public about the need to lessen the unfair influence of
Big Money on election campaigns since 2001. For further
information, visit www.CAclean.org.