The Los Feliz Ledger recently ran this stunning photo of Assemblyman Mike Gatto. The image was accompanied by an editorial by Mike Gatto about his efforts to pass a new bill targeting special interest groups who manipulate California’s elections.
Many ballot initiatives are funded by large multi-national corporations who aren’t even based in California. Using their unlimited financial resources, they can draft bills favoring their business, place them on the ballot, and produce slick ad campaigns featuring actors playing the part of average voters.
Mike Gatto’s Assembly Bill 63 would require that any ballot initiative be accompanied by a list of the top five donors funding the effort.
“For example, just last year, out-of-state oil companies spent millions to place an initiative on the ballot in an attempt to overturn California’s clean-air laws,” explained Gatto. “Environmentalists had to counter with millions of their own, just to inform voters of this cynical attempt by out-of-state interests to purchase an exemption at the ballot box.”
“I believe the electorate would be better informed if they simply knew who was the “money” behind a ballot initiative, because in almost every instance, knowing who seeks to change California law to their benefit is half the battle. Knowing this will help voters make informed decisions—and informed decisions are always best.”