The Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee gave a 5-0 thumbs-up Monday to the California DISCLOSE Act (Assembly Bill 1148), which would require political ads on the web, radio and TV, and in print to identify who paid for them.
Next, the bill is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday, Jan. 19.
A mentioned, the measure is intended to to bring transparency to the political process, particularly in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, in the Citizens United Case, that corporations are people. The primary author of AB 1148 is Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica.
The Appropriations Committee's chair is Felipe Fuentes, a Democrat from the San Fernando Valley. His Capitol address is P.O. Box 942849, Room 2114, Sacramento 94249-0039; phone (916) 319-2039; fax (916) 319-2139. The committee's phone number is (916) 319-2081, fax number is (916) 319-2181.
Assemblywoman Brownley also would appreciate expressions of support for AB 1148. Her Capitol address is P.O. Box 942849, Room 2163, Sacramento 94249-0041; phone (916) 319-2041; fax (916) 319-2141.
To become law, AB 1148 will need approval by two-thirds majorities in both the Assembly and the Senate, and Gov. Brown's signature. Or with simple-majority votes, the Assembly and Senate can place the measure before California voters in 2014. There is little doubt that voters would overwhelmingly pass it, though corporate interests could be expected to spend tens of millions in an effort to defeat it.
You can see the bill's text and track its procedural progress at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html; simply type in the bill number and click on "Search".
Richard Knee is a freelance journalist and sunshine activist.