Thursday, October 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Campaign disclosure needn’t be so complicated

walters column sig

By
From page A13 | November 07, 2012 |

Let’s begin with the bedrock principle that voters deserve full disclosure of who’s giving money to whom for what.

In fact, we’d be much better served to make full and immediate disclosure of campaign funds our sole regulation of political money, rather than the complex melange of federal and state laws, regulations and court decisions that now purport – but fail – to protect the political process.

So from that standpoint, the California Fair Political Practices Commission is correct in demanding, as it has done for the past couple of weeks, more information about the source of $11 million in money that flowed into a committee against Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 and for Proposition 32.

The dustup over the money reached a climax of sorts Monday when the Arizona organization that sent the money into California seemingly backed down and said that it came from two other nonprofit organizations that may not have to reveal their contributors under any circumstances.

One day before Election Day, therefore, we learned what was already evident – that some conservatives who dislike Brown’s tax increase spent money to oppose it – and we may never know more than that because of the aforementioned welter of laws, regulations and court decisions.

Some in the media may speculate that the Koch brothers, who support conservative causes, are behind the money, but they deny it and there’s no hard evidence to prove it.

FPPC chairwoman Ann Ravel may call it “money laundering,” but that’s a pejorative that may or may not be legally correct.

The folks behind the money, whoever they may be, played the legal game well – stringing out the FPPC to delay its nondisclosure disclosure until just before the election, thereby precluding any further disclosure until after the voting, if ever.

Brown portrayed his measure as a victim of “dirty money,” hoping the controversy would boost Proposition 30, which was below 50 percent in the final round of pre-election polls. And some pundits argued that it would have that effect.

But without a smoking-gun revelation about the real source of the money, and with a huge number of votes already cast by mail, the impact is very uncertain.

Were Proposition 30 to lose, especially were it to lose narrowly, Brown & Co. would undoubtedly blame the late infusion of opposition money.

However, even with that money against them, Brown and his allies in public employees unions will have spent much more for the measure than opponents – and Proposition 30′s support was declining long before the mystery money showed up.

It would be nice to know who contributed the money. It would be even nicer if the controversy resulted in more rational political disclosure laws and less nitpicking regulation.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him at dwalters@sacbee.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vacaville man earns Carnegie heroism medal

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Head-on crash sends 2 to trauma centers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Mundy fifth-graders share their thoughts

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Veterans meet set in November

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots meet next week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Bevy of vintage warbirds expected at Nut Tree air show

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
California Catholics challenge abortion order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

San Francisco expands free public Wi-Fi access

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Judge: Stockton must treat pension like other debt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Secret Service chief quits due to security lapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
2 children in Los Angeles County have enterovirus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Infant’s body found in California trash facility

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mexico’s probe of army slayings raises doubts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
John Wayne’s heirs lose ‘Duke’ legal brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Man convicted of murder in killing over loud music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 3 Comments

3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can’t go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Poll: Divided voters still focus on economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Respiratory virus seen in 4 deaths; role unclear

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
920 California chickens killed with golf club

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Liberia short on ambulances for Ebola patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Wife of slain Los Angeles-area mayor released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ebola patient told hospital he was from Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Caltrans: Bay Bridge tower rods exposed to water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

App teaches kindergartners basic computer coding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
2 white Ohio women sue over sperm from black donor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

Real reasons neighborhoods are in trouble

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Oct. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Crazy? Violent? Lose your guns

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

It’s time to teach history

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

 
Read this column ASAP or immediately

By Reg Henry | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our son’s suicide has made us feel like outcasts in our community

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 2, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Lena Dunham launches tour for book of adult essays

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Interstellar’ to be released 2 days early on film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Steinem: Domestic violence discussion a positive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Orange is the New Black’ author talks Season 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tony Bennett sets mark as oldest act with No. 1 LP

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Bumgarner, Giants silence Pirates 8-0 to advance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s part ways a day after 12-inning loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

49ers prepare for familiar face in Chiefs Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders leave for bye after meeting with new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

College notebook: Former Falcon Williams tearing it up as Torero

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JC volleyball: Solano wins twice in Falcons Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

JC women’s soccer: Sjoberg nets 2 goals as Solano ties Chabot

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prep water polo: Rodriguez boys swim to 11-1 win over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Prep girls tennis: Stybnarova earns victory at No. 1 singles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
 
Prep cross country: Armijo rolls to sweep at MEL center meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Drivers fear next round of NASCAR’s Chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Cardinals re-sign Fairfield High graduate Bishop

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

LeBron warmly welcomed ‘home’ by Cleveland fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Trout makes playoff debut when Angels host Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Tigers hope starters can outdo Orioles bullpen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Wambach, players file lawsuit over World Cup turf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Oslo latest city to drop out of 2022 Olympic race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Stocks start October with a drop

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
GM looks to new vehicles, China to boost profit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

5 reasons bonds may be less safe than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why the bond market is more fragile than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Laura M. Gerdes-Lemmons

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John ‘Bo’ M. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9