Governor Brown Signs The California Disclosure Act (AB 249) Into Law

Gov Jerry Brown

In case you haven’t heard ….

On Saturday, October 7th, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 249, The California Disclosure Act, presenting voters with increased information on who’s paying for political ads. In the midst of much debate among campaign officials as to whether the bill will hinder donations, Gov. Brown signed AB 249 into law.

In California at least, AB 249, The California Disclosure Act, will limit undisclosed money in politics. The California Clean Money Campaign advocates for transparency in government tenaciously conducted a long-term, steady effort to implement AB 249’s requirement that the top three financial donors to political ads be publicly named.

AB 249 was authored by Democratic Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles and sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of South San Francisco. Assemblyman Mullin stated:

“No more fine print. California voters will now be able to make informed decisions, based on honest information about who the true funders are of campaign ads. This transparency is critical to our democracy and I am proud that California has taken this historic first step to shine the light on ‘dark money.’ Hopefully this will encourage others to follow suit.”

Some have criticized AB 249 as not going far enough in disclosure and transparency that involves political contributions. Analysts with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) felt the reduction of fines for violations of the Disclosure Act weakens the bill, and see the bill as making it more difficult to prove certain campaign finance cases. However some attribute criticism to debates between proponents and opposers to the bill.

To delve further into the Governor’s signing of AB 249, reference: THE SACRAMENTO BEE: Who’s behind that political ad? Voters will know more in 2018 and an earlier article in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: State Democrats squabble over revealing who pays for political ads.

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