Bring truth to political ads
Many people in the SCV have been calling Assembly Member
Cameron Smyth's office to urge him to vote "yes" on the
upcoming Disclose Act, AB 1648 (see
Republicans, Democrats, tea party folk and independents
agree that we desperately need "truth in political
In a recent Field Poll, 84 percent of California voters
said they favored legislation to "increase the public
disclosure requirements of initiative sponsors to more
clearly identify who are its major funders." That included
78 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of independents and
83 percent of tea party supporters.
AB 1648 will require full disclosure on all political
advertising - print and media - for the top three funders,
whether they are billionaires like the Koch Brothers or
George Soros, or giant corporations like Chevron, or unions
like the SEIU.
It is an "equal opportunity" bipartisan bill that plays no
favorites with either side and works to give voters vital
information they need in making decisions on how they
No longer will big money be allowed to hide behind PACs
with names like "True Blue Americans who Love the Flag" or
"Citizens for Integrity in Government."
We only need one more Republican to vote for this important
game-changing bill. We are hoping that Cameron Smyth will
be that final vote.
Otherwise, it will be passed with less than the two-thirds
vote and will have to go on the November ballot, where the
big special-interest money will attack it - just as they
have attacked all of our "good government" bills that have
attempted to level the playing field so that big money is
not the only voice our legislators and the voters hear.
In a recent visit to Smyth's office with several other SCV
Fair Elections folks, we were told by his field
representative that he will not vote for the bill because
it's "only going after the corporations and not
Of course, this is not true.
"Let it go on the ballot in the fall, and let the people
decide," his aide said. If that happens, we know big money
will go after it with both guns and again manipulate and
fool people as they have so many times in the past.
Contrary to what Smyth's aide said, this bill is going
after big money whatever its source. Could Smyth be afraid
that if he supports this bill, big money will come after
In that case, a little political courage would be good and
show the voter he's on our side. Smyth's not running again;
what does he have to lose?
Other Republicans are breaking rank and voting their
conscience. Let Smyth go out like former Assemblyman Keith
Richman, who stood up to big money when he knew it was the
right thing to do.
The folks at California Clean Money are perfectly willing
to sit down with Smyth to work out any kinks in the bill
that cause him concern. So far, he hasn't been willing to
work with them.
Time is running out. The bill will be coming up for a vote
before the end of the month.
AB 1648 will give the voters information about who is
spending money to try to persuade them to vote for or
against a particular candidate or proposition. That is
information we all should have a right to know.
Please call Smyth's office at 661-286-1565 and tell him you
want him to be the deciding vote.
Carole Lutness is a Valencia resident and chairwoman of the
SCV Fair Elections Committee.
See the article on Santa Clarita Signal website