DeSaulnier Named a “Clean Money Champion”


Kudos go out to Senator Mark DeSaulnier for being designated as one of  year’s “Clean Money Champions” according to the California Clean Money Action Fund. His scoring was based on his voting record on disclosure bills and his authorship of SB 334 which would have added disclosure of spending on ballot measures to the ballot pamphlet. This was the first California Clean Money Scorecard that rated legislators on how often they side with “regular” California’s for key campaign finance reform and disclosure legislation.

Full Score Card PDF (12-pages)

Here is the section on Senator DeSaulnier from the PDF (Click the image to enlarge) or read the text below.

SB 334 (DeSaulnier)
Disclosure of ballot measure funders in ballot pamphlet

Authored by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), SB 334 would have required that the official ballot pamphlet list the five highest contributors of $50,000 or more in support of and in opposition to each ballot measure.

The information in the ballot pamphlet is a crucial source of information for voters in helping them understand and consider ballot measures. However, it does not currently provide any objective information on the source of campaign contributions in support of or opposition to them, something that studies have shown that the vast majority of Californians believe is important to know. SB 334 thus would have been a crucial step in providing voters with information they need to know to help make up their minds how to vote.

Support:  California Clean Money Campaign, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, California Common Cause, California State PTA, Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Status: Passed legislature but was vetoed by Governor Brown.

Clean Money Champions (click image to enlarge)

How We Score Them
The California Clean Money Campaign (CCMC) endorsed five bills in the 2011-2012 session that were written to address the problems of Big Money dominance by increasing campaign disclosure.

The highest priority bills were AB 1148 and AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act, authored by Assembly Member Julia Brownley (D-Oak Park) and sponsored by CCMC. Either bill would have changed the Big Money game by requiring ads for ballot measures and all ads paid for by independent expenditures to clearly show their top three funders. AB 1648 passed the Assembly but didn’t have time to get a vote in the Senate due to fierce opposition from Big Money lobbyists.

Three other important disclosure bills were SB 334 (DeSaulnier), which would have added disclosure of spending on ballot measures to the ballot pamphlet; SB 488 (Correa), which stops slate mailers from deceiving voters that they represent endorsements of public safety organizations; and AB 481 (Gordon), which increases disclosure requirements for independent expenditures. SB 334 passed the legislature but was vetoed by Governor Brown. SB 488 and AB 481 were signed into law in September.

By Michael Burkholder


  1. I guess this can put to rest Mr. Meusers accusations against DeSaulnier by using the Chamber record.

    • @Jim, This is just one groups opinion. I’ll listen more to what the CAL Chamber has to say over this “scorecard”.

      • The Chamber of Commerce(anything above a local level) commenting on clean money is like the fox watching the hen house.

        FAIL on the credibility scale.

        Businesses that are entirely foreign owned can join and contribute to the Chamber’s causes, including policy discussions, for as little as a $2k/yr “membership” fee.

        That’s an influence I would just as soon see sidelined. It’s also another reason that the defeat of Prop 32 was important. To keep that potential outside voice, through monetary contributions, from having too large a say and influence over our elective process.

  2. Clean money legislation is great. Too bad this type of legislation is a waste of time because contributors will find a loophole circumventing the origination of donation funds. Proposition 32 should have passed because it is not fair to union members like me to pay for contributions and mailers that I do not agree with. Unions can solicit within the membership for donations just like the rest of the political system does. When they take money from my check to contribute to a ballot measure or politician that I do not support it is a violation of my rights. This is the power that the unions and politicians have on us. It is too much and just not right. There are more important problems in this country that deserve the clean money champions time. These types of legislative bills are more self serving to the politician and their backers than the public. The worst part is that the public thinks these career politicians are working for them. Not in a million years. Now you have the real JigsUp.

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