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November 20, 2015

CONTACT: Sam Mahood

(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Campaign Finance. Donor Disclosure. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures today.  

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE. DONOR DISCLOSURE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Creates a constitutional right to public disclosure of money used to finance campaign activity and influence government actions. Requires corporations and nonprofit organizations that spend $50,000 or more on political activities in California to disclose their $10,000 donors, including where donations passed through other entities. Requires that a political campaign’s advertisements disclose its top three donors contributing $50,000 or more. Expands Secretary of State’s online campaign finance database. Extends bar against former legislators lobbying Legislature or state agencies to 24 months. Requires disclosure of lobbying for government contracts. Increases penalties for Political Reform Act violations. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased costs to state and local governments to administer state campaign finance and disclosure laws. These costs include (1) one-time costs—possibly tens of millions of dollars—to state and local governments to develop new information technology systems and (2) ongoing costs to state and local governments of possibly millions of dollars each year. These costs would be offset to some extent by higher fines. (15-0068.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1729 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 15-0068. 

The proponent of the measure, Jim Heerwagen, must collect the signatures of 585,407 registered voters (eight percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by May 18, 2016.  The proponent can be reached c/o Gary Winuk (916) 446-2300.