This is what happened…
This $11-million “money bomb” occurred very close to Election Day and since non-profits are not required to disclose their donors, voters did not have the information on who was responsible for
providing funding to the propositions. Only after the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and California Attorney General Kamala Harris investigated a complaint, was the SBAC-PAC forced to disclose the contributor. But it happened on just the day before the election.
Since 2010, when the United States Supreme Court decided in favor of the plaintiffs in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, non-profit organizations have been set up to collect unlimited contributions from corporations and unions because they are not required to disclose who their donors are. These funds are then used to fund candidates and ballot measures. And it’s happening at the local, state, and national levels.
What We’re Doing
The League of Women Voters of California is leading California’s campaign for contribution disclosure laws. The League is supporting a “package” of bills, including SB 2 (Lieu) and SB 3 (Yee), the Sunshine in Campaigns Act. These bills address three broad areas:
End the “dark money” loophole: Prevent the use of nonprofits and Super PACs to hide the real sources of campaign funds.
Enforce the rules: Strictly enforce all campaign regulations with adequate penalties.
Improve filings and disclosure: Make it easy for campaigns to make their reports—with online filing and schedules more like federal reporting schedules.
Barb Singleton, Action Team member
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