Transparency in Government and Campaign Finance Reform
I have spent decades serving as a leader in the effort to bring transparency and accountability to our campaign finance system. Special interests have invested billions to influence our government, and in recent years, left many people feeling powerless to influence policies that directly affect them. I strongly believe that this is a threat to our democracy.
The public has a right to know who is spending to influence elections, and we must put a stop to a flawed campaign finance system that enables corruption in our government. My commitment to transparency in campaign financing has earned me the endorsement of End Citizens United, a national organization working to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates to dark money in politics.
- I served as both President Barack Obama’s Chair of the Federal Elections Commission and Governor Jerry Brown’s Chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission, where I brought greater transparency to campaign finance and led the first-in-the-nation fight against the Koch Brothers network when they used dark money to try to pass Proposition 32, the paycheck deception ballot measure, and defeat Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30. I won a $1 million fine, and $15 million that was contributed was disgorged to the state.
- As the Director of MapLight’s Digital Deception Project, I am developing laws, regulations and policies in the US and throughout the Americas to identify and prevent digital deception on the Internet, as it affects our democracy. I am working with local communities, nonprofits and other organizations to get input and buy in for solutions.
- I have taught and lectured on ethics, especially ethics in government. I am on the Board of the Markulla Center for Ethics at Santa Clara University to continue to emphasize ethics in my work.
I will continue this fight in the State Senate, and I’ll sponsor legislation that stops the influence of dark money and limits the influence of special interest spending.