Historic Victory for Transparency as California DISCLOSE ACT, SB 52, Passes Senate Floor
Bill providing dramatically increased transparency and disclosure for political ads passes Senate floor on a 28-11 vote with bipartisan support
SACRAMENTO - SB 52, the California DISCLOSE Act,
passed the full Senate yesterday in an overwhelming vote
for increased disclosure in political ads as 27 Democrats,
led by authors Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and
Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), were joined by Republican Senator
Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) in voting Yes.
"In recent years there has been an unprecedented
increase in election spending, which makes it more
important than ever that we strengthen our disclosure laws
to help raise voter confidence in the electoral process and
shed light on who is funding political advertisements,"
said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. "With more
information at their fingertips, voters will be more
encouraged to vote and can make better informed decisions
at the ballot box."
Over $475 million was spent last year in California on
ballot measures alone, according to the National Institute
on Money in State Politics. Most of it was spent by
committees hiding their funders behind misleading
"This legislation is vital to protecting the integrity
of our democratic process and ensuring fair elections in
our state," said Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.
"After seeing billions of dollars flow into elections
across our country after the Citizens United decision, we
need the DISCLOSE Act now more than ever."
SB 52, sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign,
requires state and local political ads in California to
clearly and prominently list their top three funders.
Committees would be required to maintain a website voters
can easily access that lists the largest funders.
SB 52 applies to ballot measure ads and ads by outside
groups for and against candidates. SB 52 would also extend
existing law to require disclosure on sham issue and issue
advocacy advertisements that attempt to influence
legislative or administrative action.
"As sponsor of the California DISCLOSE Act, we are
thrilled that Senators Leno and Hill are taking the lead to
push this crucial transparency legislation," said Trent
Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign.
"More than 300 organizations and leaders have already
endorsed SB 52 and over 25,000 Californians signed
petitions for it, demonstrating the rising outcry to stop
secretive interests from deceiving voters."
Endorsers for SB 52 include the League of Women Voters of
California, California Alliance for Retired Americans,
California Clean Money Campaign, CA Common Cause,
California Church IMPACT, the California League of
Conservation Voters, CA NOW, CALPIRG, Consumer Federation
of CA, Courage Campaign, Democracy for America, the Green
Chamber of Commerce, Greenlining Institute, JERICHO, the
Lutheran Office of Public Policy - CA, Los Amigos,
Progressives United, Public Citizen, Redwood Empire
Business Association, Sierra Club CA, Southwest Voter
Registration Education Project, and the U.S. Green Building
Council of California.
"The California DISCLOSE Act provides voters with a new
level of transparency in campaign finance disclosure that I
whole-heartedly support", said Senator Anthony
Cannella, R-Ceres. "I want to commend Senator Leno for
bringing forth this legislation and am proud to support
SB 52 now moves to the Assembly, where Assembly Speaker
John P?rez was one of 44 Assembly co-authors of the
previous California DISCLOSE Act (AB 1648 authored
by then-Assemblymember and now-Congressmember Julia
Brownley) that passed the Assembly before running out of
time to reach the Senate last August.
DISCLOSE is an acronym for Democracy is
Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in
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.