The public has a right to know

* Letter to the editor

By Bea Lingenfelter, President, League of Women Voters of San Joaquin County

The League of Women Voters of California has long promoted campaign finance laws that ensure full disclosure of contributors to candidates and ballot measures.

For this reason, we are pleased to support the California Disclose Act, AB1148 (Brownley). This proposed law requires the largest major funders of political ads for candidates and ballot measures to be clearly and unambiguously identified on all advertising, including radio, TV, print and mass mailers.

We believe that such campaign finance regulation will protect the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, and promote citizen confidence and participation in the political process.

There is overwhelming bipartisan support of legislation requiring greater disclosure in political ads. In a national poll done by Hart Research in June 2010, 91 percent of Democrats, 91 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Republicans favored legislation requiring ads to state which corporations paid for those ads. An October 2011 Field Poll found that 84 percent of voters agreed public disclosure requirements of initiative sponsors must more clearly identify the major funders of a measure.

We urge our local legislative representatives to join the League of Women Voters of California in support of the California Disclose Act, and to vote yes on AB1148 in the legislative session this year. We also urge interested area citizens to contact their legislators and ask them to support AB1148.

Bea Lingenfelter
President, League of Women Voters of San Joaquin County


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