Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Political Disclosure Bill Fails, Fletcher Sole Republican Supporter
Assembly Bill 1148, a proposed law that would’ve required greater disclosure regarding the financing sources of political advertising, fell two votes short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to pass the California Assembly on Tuedsay. We reported on the proposal in greater detail the day of the vote.
The bill was supported by every Democrat except Cathleen Galgiani of Livingston. Every Republican, with the exception of San Diego assemblyman and mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher either voted to oppose it or abstained.
While Democrats said the law would have helped to ease voter cynicism by making it more clear who was funding advertisements that pushed political positions, Republicans said they believe the law would have restricted freedom of speech. Instead, they proposed lifting state limits on donations directly to individual candidates.
“People have the right to know who is funding political campaigns and where the true support or opposition comes from,” said Fletcher, disagreeing with the popular Republican opinion. “It is time to move California to the forefront in campaign disclosure. It was disappointing that Sacramento failed.”
Phillip Ung, a policy analyst with California Common Cause, a group supporting the measure, told the Sacramento Bee that the bill’s defeat proves that “special interests in Sacramento still have a very strong hold on certain legislators,” who he says “support secret campaign money over the needs of the voters.”
The Reader sent a request for comment to all assembly members representing portions of San Diego with direct email addresses published with the Office of the Chief Clerk (Toni Atkins, Marty Block, Nathan Fletcher, Martin Garrick, Diane Harkey, and Manuel Perez) seeking comment on Thursday morning. As of this posting, Fletcher’s office provided the only response. Updates will be posted should further responses be received.