City Council urges local Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian and State Senator Sam Blakeslee to vote Yes on bill that will increase transparency in political advertising
SAN LUIS OBISPO - The San Luis Obispo city council unanimously endorsed the California DISCLOSE Act, AB 1648, last night, adding its voice to the statewide non-partisan effort to help voters make better informed decisions by requiring the top funders of political ads to disclose their identity on the ads themselves.
"Voters are tired of deceptive political advertising by special interests that hide when they're paying for ads," said San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Howell Marx. "AB 1648 is an obvious step to allow the public to understand who is trying to influence elections, be the elections statewide or local elections right here in San Luis Obispo."
Authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Oak-Park) and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, AB 1648 will require political television, radio, and print ads to clearly identify their three largest funders of $10,000 or more with their names and logos so voters know who is actually paying for them. Committee websites will be required to list their top ten funders. AB 1648 applies to both ads for or against ballot measures and independent expenditure ads for or against candidates and apply to state, county, and city elections.
Californians from all major political parties have overwhelmingly stated their support in polls for public disclosure of ballot initiative sponsors and their major donors. A Field Poll late last year found that 84 percent of registered California voters favored legislation to increase public disclosure requirements of initiative sponsors, including 78 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Independents.
AB 1648 is fiercely opposed by organizations representing the
largest-spending special interests in the state that would rather continue
spending millions while keeping their spending hidden from most voters.
"It's not a surprise to hear that some of the largest hidden political spenders in the state oppose the California DISCLOSE Act," said Councilmember John Ashbaugh, who brought the resolution to city council. "But I don't see how you could be against increasing transparency and disclosure in political ads with AB 1648 if you're looking out for what the voters want and what the voters need."
AB 1648 is endorsed by the League of Women Voters of California, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Clean Money Campaign, California Common Cause, CA Church IMPACT, Consumer Federation of California, the Redwood Empire Business Association, and over 200 other organizations and leaders.
"Over 23,000 people from all political parties have signed petitions for AB 1648, showing the across the board awareness Californians have of the need for more disclosure," said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, the sponsor of the California DISCLOSE Act. "We hope that with the unanimous endorsement of AB 1648 by their home cities, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian and Senator Sam Blakeslee will take the lead for more transparency and disclosure by voting Yes on AB 1648."
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. For further information, visit http://www.YesFairElections.org.