by Brian Leubitz
Take a step into my TARDIS, way back to 2012, when a group of conservative nonprofit groups with connections to the Koch Brothers poured around $15 million into the efforts to defeat Prop 30 and pass Prop 32. Eventually, they settled for a record fine of over a million dollars, but hey, if you can get away with it, #AmIRight? What’s a million dollars between friends trying to monkey with democracy?
Well, a bill to fight just these sort of money laundering operations was working its way through the state Legislature. SB 27, introduced by Senator Correa would have required every ballot committee receiving more than $1 to disclose its top ten contributors.
I say was, because with the loss of the votes of Sens. Wright and Calderon and the current lack of Democratic supermajority, that measure seems to be on ice for a while. No Republicans would cross party lines and vote for public disclosure, so despite the passage in the Assembly, the measure goes nowhere. CORRECTION: A previous version of this post said a supermajority was required due to a requirement of constitutional amendments. However, SB 27 is not a constitutional amendment. Rather, the Political Reform Act of 1974 requires a 2/3 supermajority to make changes.
“Senate Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for voting to keep Californian’s in the dark about who is funding political campaigns,” said SoS candidate Derek Cressman. “How anyone favoring fair and transparent elections could have no preference between the party of dark money and the party that voted unanimously for sunshine today is a mystery to me.”