More than 80 Testify for Brownley's Campaign Bill

By Lookout Staff
The LookOut news, January 10th, 2012

More than 80 speakers on Monday testified in favor of a bill by Santa Monica Assembly member Julia Brownley that requires political ads to identify their top three funders.

AB 1148, the California Disclose Act, will head to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations after being unanimously approved by the Assembly Committee on Elections & Redistricting.

"Californians need to know who is paying for the political ads so they can make informed decisions, especially in light of the unprecedented level of spending in recent years, particularly through independent expenditures," Brownley said.

"This bill requires simple, clear disclosure of the top three donors of the ads on the ads themselves and an Internet website where viewers can go for more information."

During California's last general election, nearly $200 million was spent on ballot measures by committees with "vague" names, said Brownley, who is a former president of the santa Monica - Malibu School Board.

"Many of the independent expenditure committees that are pouring money into campaigns structure themselves in ways that hide who is funding the messages voters hear," she said, adding that the bill will give voters "greater confidence."

The bill, which has strong public support according to polls, had no public opposition at Monday's hearing.

Sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, the bill is supported by a number of major groups, including the League of Women Voters of California, California Alliance of Retired Americans, California Common Cause, the Planning and Conservation League and National Organization for Women.

The bill requires the three largest funders of political ads to be clearly identified with their names and logos on all television ads, radio ads, print ads, mass mailers, and websites for or against state and local ballot measures, and to independent expenditures for and against candidates.

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