AB 1148 Falls Two Votes Short, But Sets Stage for Future Victory
Every Democrat except Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani votes for real disclosure
SACRAMENTO - Earlier today, AB 1148, the California
DISCLOSE Act, fell two votes short of the two-thirds
supermajority that it required for passage. But it showed
bipartisan support for real disclosure, with Republican
Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher of San Diego voting for it,
along with every Democrat in the Assembly except Cathleen
Galgiani. The final vote tally was 52-26.
"People have the right to know who is funding political
campaigns and where the true support or opposition comes
from. It is time to move California to the forefront in
campaign disclosure," said Assemblymember Nathan
Fletcher (R-San Diego). "It is disappointing that
Sacramento failed today. It is my plan to bring this
AB 1148, the California DISCLOSE Act, authored by
Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) and
sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, would
have changed the political game by completely replacing
current misleading fine print disclosures in political ads
with clear and prominent disclosures of their three largest
funders, be they unions, corporations, or wealthy
By voting nearly unanimously for AB 1148, Assembly
Democrats voted with the 84% of registered voters that last
October's California Field Poll showed support increased
disclosure. It had 35 co-authors, including Assembly
Speaker John Perez, despite heavy opposition from the
California Chamber of Commerce and other big business
organizations representing the largest political spenders
in the state.
"I am proud of my colleagues who chose to support
greater disclosure of funding in political ads, and
disappointed that more Republicans did not join them
despite widespread support for greater transparency among
voters of all political parties", Assemblymember
Brownley said. "The public is frustrated and fed up
with wealthy donors who manipulate elections through
anonymous campaign messages. Voters deserve to know clearly
who is behind the ads."
AB 1148 was endorsed by groups like the League of Women
Voters of California, the California Alliance for Retired
Americans, California Common Cause, California Church
IMPACT, CALPIRG, the Greenlining Institute, the Green
Chamber of Commerce, the Planning and Conservation League,
Sierra Club California, Bob Stern, co-author of the
Political Reform Act of 1974, and taxpayer advocate Ted
Costa, CEO of the People's Advocate.
Support included endorsements from both Democratic and
Republican local elected officials and unanimous
endorsements from the city councils of Los Angeles, San
Jose, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville.
The public's interest in real disclosure has exploded since
the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision said that
there could be no limits on independent expenditures.
Nearly 300 local organizations and leaders endorsed the
California DISCLOSE Act as a way of at least making sure
that voters knew who was behind those ads. Over 20,000
people signed petitions for the bill, many of whom went on
to help generate over 4,000 phone calls to constituents of
key Assemblymembers asking them to call for Yes votes.
"The fact that 52 Assemblymembers voted yes despite
intense pressure from special interests that would rather
keep the public in the dark shows the power of the
grassroots support for real disclosure", said Trent
Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign,
the sponsor of AB 1148. "But we'll be back with an even
stronger bill and even greater active involvement from the
public for real reform."
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.