AB 249, the California DISCLOSE Act, achieved a landmark victory on September 15 by passing the Assembly in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 59-15. The Sacramento Bee conveyed the importance of this game-changing bill to fight Dark Money with a giant front page picture of the moment it passed.
This significant victory came after a massive seven year grass-roots campaign, which culminated in two weeks of 23,000 plus Clean Money supporters emailing their legislators and thousands making calls. Senator Henry Stern called us a dynamic and powerful force unrivaled among public interest groups in California*.
UUCPA has played a key role in this victory – we are the epicenter of the Clean Money Campaign in northern California! For example, as work party volunteers have noticed, we are mailing batches of letters for the whole state. Our local Peninsula Clean Money Action Group is the largest and most active in the state partly due to the ease of holding meetings and events here, and is strengthened by moral, financial and volunteer support from the congregation. All this makes UUCPA’s official endorsement more meaningful.
But our job isn’t done yet. Governor Brown still must sign AB 249, and we can’t take any chances because he has vetoed campaign finance reform bills before. We must demonstrate to him that Californians feel AB 249 is one of the most important bills of the hundreds he must sign or veto by October 15.
We have only four weeks to convince Governor Brown to sign AB 249, putting into law the strongest disclosure requirements in the nation. Please join the Clean Money email list if you’re not on it, and help however you can.
*Senator Stern’s speech included the following:
“When it comes to sunlight in our democracy, we cannot survive, we truly cannot survive as a democratic republic unless we get dark money out of our politics. And I just want to say, this is just a start. Your power as a lobby is so disproportionate to all the other special interests up here in Sacramento. This is the most special interest because it is the people’s interest. You don’t have high-powered lobbyists, and you don’t have an army of corporate interests behind you or campaign checks, but what you have is – the truth is on your side, and the people are on your side, and that is why you continue to thrive, and that is why in a good way you continue to be feared. Right? Fear is a healthy tool. And your power to turn on that spigot when called upon makes you a dynamic and powerful force that I think is unrivaled among any other public interest in California. Because what you do is you unite the environmental community and the women’s community and the immigration justice community and the health community… All those interests are in the public interest. So you are that conduit and I want to thank you.”