Giving Lou His Due: Correa Introduces a Good Bill; Now Gov. Brown Has Signed It

Lou Correa with liquified big smile

Someone will inevitably wonder if this is Photoshopped. Uh … could be!

A friend passes on an e-mail from the California Clean Money Campaign.  What caught my eye, in its review of the fates of the three bills it discusses — two passed and the one that didn’t is coming back next year — is that that one of the heroes is OC’s own Lou Correa, who gets the special “highlighted in orange” treatment from us as a result.

It’s not all the time that we get to report the good news of important disclosure bills being signed into law after you took action, but now we’re able to:

After nearly 1,500 of you signed the petition for SB 488, Governor Brown announced that he signed SB 488 — a bill that will stop deceptive slate mailers from trying to fool voters by using the logos of police and firefighting organizations without their permission!

SB 488 was authored by Senator Lou Correa and sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters.  It was endorsed not only by firefighting and law enforcement groups, but by Secretary of State Debra Bowen and by good government groups like the California Clean Money Campaign and California Common Cause — and by nearly 1,500 Clean Money petition signers like you!

This follows the Governor’s signature of AB 481, a bill sponsored by the Fair Political Practices Commission and endorsed by the California Clean Money Campaign, California Common Cause, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, and others.  AB 481 is a significant step for improving disclosure for independent expenditures by making current disclosure laws apply to all significant forms of advertising and to local candidates and ballot measures.

So though time ran out to pass AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act (authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign), important steps improving California’s disclosure laws have been signed into law this year.

The next steps will be following up AB 1648’s historic Assembly victory with a new version of the game-changing California DISCLOSE Act next year — so stay tuned!

In the meantime, be sure to vote in the upcoming election!  If you haven’t yet, be sure to register to vote!  You have until October 22nd.

Of course, there are still plenty of deceptive slate mailers that try to fool voters into thinking they represent the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or other parties and organizations.  So beware and read the fine print disclosures — and help us work on the California DISCLOSE Act to get real disclosure in them and other deceptive political ads next year.

Thank you for your commitment and actions for Clean Money and real disclosure!

Trent Lange, President, California Clean Money Campaign

We often give Lou Correa a hard time here — because he often earns it.  It’s a pleasure to praise him when he’s right.  Yes, perhaps Correa’s responsiveness was less to good government groups than to firefighters and police officers associations who donate big to their favored candidates [Disclosure: I’m apparently not one of them] but this is a case where they’re right.  They have a legitimate grievance when some shady entrepreneur sets up shop to present slate mailers to voters that purport to show what cops or firefighters think but really only show who — like the anti-FPD slate in the Fullerton recall election — was willing to pay for the promotion.  Correa’s bill will make it a little bit harder for them by at least denying them the ability to use their logos without permission.  Correa was right to introduce it; the Governor was right to sign it.

Next year, we hope that the Governor will have the chance to sign the DISCLOSE Act, which is featured prominently in the e-mail.  Have you asked your local candidate whether they’ll support it?  [Disclosure: I do.]

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)