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California-Based Bill Promoting Political Ad Transparency Unveiled

SAN DIEGO- A pair of State Assembly members today unveiled a bill that would require greater transparency in disclosing to voters who paid for political advertisements.

AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act, was introduced Feb 13 by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica). If approved, it would require all political ads, such as radio ads, television ads and mass mailers, that support or oppose a ballot measure or candidate in an election to disclose their top three funders of $10,000 or more and their logo, if they have one, according to Brownley.

"This is a bill that will improve transparency, disclosure of spending in elections by revealing major funding sources directly on all campaign advertisements," Brownley said.

The bill also would require campaign committees to maintain a website where the top 10 financial backers are listed so voters can easily access the information, Fletcher said.

"People have a right to know who is funding political campaigns and where true support or opposition is really coming from," said Fletcher, who is running for mayor of San Diego.

Brownley said AB 1648 is similar to a measure that came up two votes short last month of the required two-thirds vote required in the Assembly for passage.

"Support for this issue is growing so significantly throughout the state and I believe we can overcome the two-thirds vote requirement to get this to the Governor for his signature," Brownley said.

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