True funders of state political ads not clear

By Craig Dunkerley, Letter to the Editor

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has long been a champion of campaign finance transparency and in her oped (Opinion, May 18) she made a good case for improving it at the federal level, but unfortunately, in her opening paragraph, she was much more sanguine about the situation here in California than is merited by the facts. Our state laws do not require the true funders of ads to be clearly and unambiguously disclosed. Instead, if they appear at all, they're in fine print, all caps (hard to read) and usually disguised with some misleading, innocuous sounding name like "Californians for Warm Puppies." Voters did indeed find out about the true funders of the ads in the 2010 campaign she describes, and that did make a huge difference, but this was a rare exception to the norm. It's ironic that the Congresswoman would overlook this sad fact because she has long been a strong supporter of the California Disclose Act, AB 700, a bill currently working its way through the Assembly which would address this very problem. Forgiving her oversight is therefore quite easy.

Craig Dunkerley
San Jose

See the article on San Jose Mercury News website

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