Calls to Action: Citizens

Timely Disclosure Of Political Contributions

We always encourage readers to explore Cal-Access to gain a sense of how campaigns are financed in California. There you will see that organizations with similar objectives (e.g., labor organizations, corporate interests, Indian tribes, GFC chapters) occasionally focus on the same races. Eg, Georgette Gomez’s campaign in a special election to replace former Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, who resigned her seat to become chair of the California Labor Federation, was backed by direct contributions and independent expenditures from labor organizations and Ms. Gonzalez’s campaign accounts while Gomez’s opponent David Alvarez received direct contributions from Indian tribes, GFC chapters, and dialysis, construction and other corporate enterprises. While those supporters are free to talk with each other and to be members of the same federations, they must make independent decisions when making contributions.

Reporting of political contributions should be fast and accessible. When legislators return from recess in August, one bill they will address in that regard is Senate Bill 1352, a GFC-sponsored bill authored by State Senator Ben Allen to expand contribution disclosures. The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support and is headed to the Assembly Appropriations committee. Because the political contributions made by our network are publicly reported, GFC would be affected by such a law if enacted, which we would warmly welcome. In our view, at all times of the year disclosure of political contributions should be immediate. SB 1352 is a good start in that direction.