Assembly Member Santiago Moves Forward 2nd Ballot DISCLOSE Act

* AB 1416 will show voters who supports and opposes state ballot measures on the ballot itself

By Press Release, California Clean Money Campaign

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Governor Newsom has just signed SB 1360 the Disclosure Clarity Act (Umberg-Allen) and AB 1416 the Ballot DISCLOSE Act (Santiago), both sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, expanding California's national leadership in disclosure.

SB 1360 gives California the first law in the nation to require online image and banner ads to clearly show their top funder on the ad itself. It also requires formatting changes to make the top three funders of television and video ad disclosures much more readable.

"People shouldn' have to pause their TVs or computers, squint, or run to the kitchen for their reading glasses to determine who is funding political ads," said Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana), author of SB 1360. "Transparency in our political process is more important than ever and voters deserve to be treated respectfully."

SB 1360 also ensures voters approached to sign petitions for initiatives, referendums, or recalls are shown an official list of the top three funders of the circulation. SB 1360 addresses the failure of many circulators to follow a 2019 law, SB 47 (Allen), the Petition DISCLOSE Act, which requires circulators to show voters the official top funders sheet when funders aren' on the petition itself.

"The 2017 enactment of the California DISCLOSE Act and the 2019 enactment 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. "Governor Newsom's signature on this third bill ensures clarity in campaign advertising and prevents paid signature-gatherers from circumventing the law."

AB 1416 the Ballot DISCLOSE Act will help counteract the flood of money in ballot measure campaigns by adding to the ballot one of the most important pieces of information voters want: who supports and opposes each measure.

"This bill is a colossal game changer for California elections because voters will now be able to make more informed choices on ballot measures," said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), author of AB 1416. "Big money in politics continues to capitalize on the lack of ballot measure transparency, which directly affects the outcome of elections. As more and more ballot measures appear on general election ballots, it is imperative voters have the information they need to cast an informed vote on state and local ballot measures. The Ballot DISCLOSE Act will bring greater transparency and democracy to the ballot box on Election Day."

AB 1416 will add to each measure on the ballot a short list of supporters and opponents (max 125 characters each) from the official arguments in the state Voter Guide. The new law has rules that prevent inclusion of sham organizations and political parties.

"This law will vastly improve voters making an informed choice when voting, and finally root out the special interest that lurk in the shadows seeking to mislead the public," said Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), principal coauthor of AB 1416.

Both SB 1360 and AB 1416 were supported by a broad coalition of state, local, and national good government and other public interest organizations. A major grassroots and coalition campaign led by the California Clean Money Action Fund helped generate thousands of petition signatures for SB 1360 and delivered to Governor Newsom 39,472 petition signatures for AB 1416, along with thousands of emails, phone calls, and messages by Clean Money supporters on social media.

"Governor Newsom?s signature of the groundbreaking Disclosure Clarity Act and Ballot DISCLOSE Act will help ensure Californians are the most informed voters in the nation, no matter how lopsided the campaign spending," said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, sponsor of SB 1360 and AB 1416. "Every Californian who cares about fairness in democracy owes a debt of gratitude to Governor Newsom, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago, Senators Ben Allen, Henry Stern, and Tom Umberg, and to all the other leaders in the California Legislature who helped them pass."

"DISCLOSE" is an acronym for Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections.

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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.YesFairElections.org.

(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.)




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