Should Political Ads Disclose Donors?

If approved by the Assembly, the California Disclose Act would require that the largest campaign donors be disclosed in TV, radio, Web and printed political ads.

Public interest groups are urging citizens to back a bill up for a vote Tuesday in the California Assembly that would require the disclosure of large donors to political ads seen by voters across the state.

Under AB 1148, also known as the California Disclose Act, the three largest donors to political advertising on TV and radio as well as those in mailers and Web sites would need to be named.

"This would be a huge win for democracy in California, allowing citizens to give proper weight to the different messages they hear and make informed decisions at the ballot box," said MapLight, a nonprofit that tracks the influence of money in politics, in an email message to supporters.

Other organizations that have registered their support of the bill include the California National Organization for Women, the California League of Women Voters, the Planning and Conservation League and the California Clean Money Campaign (which is sponsoring the bill), among others.

The California Chamber of Commerce has announced its opposition, saying the bill would place "significant and onerous changes" on the process and hurt protected speech. The Chamber's opposition dims the bill's prospects, the San Jose Mercury-News stated. The California Broadcasters Association also opposes the bill.

The measure has been scheduled for a full vote in the assembly. If two-thirds of legislators vote for it, the bill will move on to the state senate.

Voters in the 53rd Assembly District who want to share their thoughts on the proposal with their elected official can contact Assemblywoman Betsy Butler via her website.

John January 31, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Conrad vonBlankenburg January 31, 2012 at 03:57 PM
graciela huth February 10, 2012 at 04:04 PM
We are in 2012. Whoever needs to sell his/her soul to the devil to get funds to support his/her candidacy is out of touch with the times. Any candidate has enough exposure in the Media with the debates. Then he/she can use the web to reach the general public. Let us bring back the political campaign into perspective. Let us use all those millions and millions of dollars thrown to the garbage by interests that only look for power for themselves, to better the economy. Yes, I am an idealist. Wouldn't you like to see more citizens with a little more love for our Democracy? t


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