Wednesday, August 27, 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

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Vacaville OK’s 20-percent reduction in water use

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A8

 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

 
Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Prep football preview: Indians positive heading into 2014 season

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6