Well-intentioned Political “Reform” Bill Would Undercut Our Voices
In the last days of the legislative session, lawmakers in the Assembly
are poised to take up a CTA- and labor-opposed bill that could undermine the
ability of organizations like teacher unions to speak out in the political
arena for public education, students, and our members.
SB 52, by Sen Mark Leno
(D-San Francisco), seeks to increase the transparency of those underwriting
political advertising, but it will have the effect of weakening the voices of
union members when they try to win more funding for schools or defeat
anti-union measures at the ballot box.
SB 52 would repeal existing laws requiring the disclosure of the top two
funding sources of $50,000 or more on advertisements supporting and opposing
While we always support transparency and full disclosures and disclaimers
in campaigns, SB 52 lacks clarity in its definition by requiring the disclosure
of “identifiable contributors” on ballot measure political advertising and
leaves it up to Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulations that do
Adoption of this measure could have a detrimental impact on the voices of
educator and labor organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members
as we communicate on ballot issues impacting education, health and safety of
state residents, including children, and more.
Under the guise of expanding contribution disclosures, the bill would
interfere with provisions of two recently approved bills -- SB 27 (Correa)
and AB 800 (Gordon) -- that address weaknesses in current reporting law.
Find out how you can help defeat the measure via the Contact Your Lawmaker link.