Bills address issue ad disclosure and local campaign finance
Sacramento – Today, two election bills authored by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, passed off of the Assembly floor with bi-partisan support and now move on to the Senate. AB 1217 seeks to extend the California DISCLOSE Act to cover issue ads and AB 571 would establish local campaign contribution limits.
“AB 1217 will simply extend the provisions of the California DISCLOSE Act to issue ads that are intended to influence legislative and administrative actions,” Mullin stated. “While I support public interaction in the process of lawmaking, my goal is to make sure the public is informed as to who is actually paying for the ads.”
AB 1217 also addresses electioneering communications that attack or support candidates during election season without specifically advocating for election or defeat. This is a growing problem, with over $26 million in reported expenditures since 2010. This bill closes a loophole in the DISCLOSE Act requiring independent expenditure ads for and against candidates to clearly display the top three (3) funders.
AB 571 addresses local campaign contributions limits. California is one of a very few states to have contributions limits for state campaigns, but no local limits. This legislation would establish a contribution limit of $4700 at the local level for cities and counties who have not adopted their own limits. The bill also maintains local control since a local jurisdiction may choose to opt out by establishing its own contribution limits, whether higher or lower.
“Unless a local government adopts its own campaign contribution limits, literally any amount can be contributed directly to a candidate for local office,” Mullin points out. “When a councilmember receives a direct contribution from a single donor as high as $100,000, the public’s trust is undermined. The default level of $4700 established by AB 571 is the same individual contribution limit set for Assembly and Senate candidates.”
Kevin Mullin represents the 22nd Assembly District and is the Speaker pro Tempore of the California
State Assembly. He chairs the Select Committee on Biotechnology and serves on the following
committees: Budget, Budget Subcommittee #3 on Resources and Transportation, Business and
Professions, Elections and Redistricting, Revenue and Taxation and the Select Committee on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The 22nd district includes the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, portions of South San Francisco and the San Mateo County Coastside communities of Montara and Moss Beach