Senate OKs campaign-finance reform through expanded fines, accountability

May 29, 2013
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Bill includes mirroring federal law with ‘Stand by Your Ad’ requirement

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today endorsed significant campaign-finance reforms to strengthen the California Political Reform Act through improved enforcement, increased penalties and greater accountability.

Coauthored jointly by Democrat Sens. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance and Leland Yee of San Francisco, the legislation passed on a 28-10 vote.  The measure, which enacts common sense reforms, now moves to the Assembly.

“SB 2 aims to increase transparency and give more tools to enforcement agencies by closing gaps and loopholes,” Lieu said about SB 2, known as the Sunshine in Campaigns Act. “It would also strengthen penalties to deter bad actors from shrugging off current fines as the cost of doing business, and conform California to the ‘Stand by Your Ad’ requirement in federal law.”

Sen. Leland Yee added: “Californians have a right to know who is behind political advertisements.  SB 2 will keep us informed and aware of the role of special interests in political campaigns.”

Specifically, SB 2 would:

• Require candidates to “Stand by your Ad”, as required of candidates for federal office.

• Give enforcement agencies more tools to conduct discretionary audits for informational purposes and strengthens penalties for failing to disclose campaign contributions – the first increase in fines and penalties in nearly 15 years.
 
• Reform slate mailers by requiring dis closures of which candidate is paid to be on the mailer by an independent expenditure, and ensure that the notice to voters is in the same languages as the mailer.

Standing behind SB 2 is the League of Women Voters of California, a co-sponsor of the legislation.

“Californians deserve all the information they can get before they vote,” League President Jennifer A. Waggoner said.

In addition to the League of Women Voters of California, SB 2 is also co-sponsored by California Common Cause.

“This broad support from the Senate shows how serious legislators are taking campaign disclosure and the fight against dark money,” Common Cause spokesman Phillip Ung said. “We urge the Assembly to follow the Senate's lead.”
 
A hearing in the Assembly has not yet been set.

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 2, visit Lieu’s Web site at the addresses below.

Ted W. Lieu represents the more than 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glenn, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.

CONTACT:
Ray Sotero
Communications Director
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28
Capitol Building, Room 4061
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4028 office; (916) 834-1128 cell
www.sen.ca.gov/Lieu