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March 16, 2014
Editorial: A dose of bipartisanship is needed

Lou_Correa.JPG(March 16 - By the Editorial Board)

Republicans and Democrats ought to agree that voters have the right to know the identities of contributors who give large sums to ballot measure campaigns.

California state senators will have an opportunity today to prove that they can rise above partisanship for the good of the public.

Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, is carrying Senate Bill 27, which would require that any campaign committee that raises $1 million or more publicly disclose its top 10 donors.

The bill also seeks to prevent big donors to ballot measures from hiding behind nonprofit social welfare organizations, as happened in 2012 when consultants moved $15 million among multiple nonprofits in an effort to cloak wealthy contributors' identities. The Fair Political Practices Commission imposed a combined $1 million fine on two nonprofits.

The bill requires a two-thirds vote. Democrats lost their super-majority when Sen. Rod Wright, convicted of perjury, and Sen. Ron Calderon, indicted on corruption charges, took leave.

That means some Republicans must support the measure when it comes up for a vote today. The public has a right to know which donors are trying to buy which laws. It ought to be an easy vote.