California’s AB 249 has a high profile new author. With former Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez sworn in as a member of Congress last month, Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin is taking lead on the bill aimed at dark money.
Mullin is no stranger to reform issues. Earlier this year, he was at the center of a movement to reform local campaign finance laws, which were out of control. Now, he is aiming his political capital at dark money.
This bill, AB 249, updates disclosure requirements in advertising for dark money groups spending on ballot measures to be more in line with traditional campaigns. This transparency measure will better inform Californians regarding who is paying for an advertisement.
The current law also requires that the name of these supporting or opposing groups allow voters to identify what the interest of the group is.
An interesting feature of this bill, however, is the requirement that individual top funders be listed on their ads. Proponents will say that this is key to let voters know who is really paying for a given advertisement. Opponents will push back against what they feel like is a measure unfairly targeting individuals.
Mullin pointed out that $473 million was spent on 15 ballot measures in California’s November 2016 election. Those measures included gun control efforts, regulations on drug prices, the legalization of marijuana, tobacco taxes, and protections for porn actors.
What do you think? Are you excited about this reform effort? Do you have concerns about the individual disclosure, or do you believe it is needed? Join the conversation on Facebook and continue to check Take Back.org for the latest thoughts on reform.