Californians Get More Transparency


Published:
Source: Central Valley Business Times

Central Valley Business Times

Who is whispering promises into the ears of state lawmakers might become a bit clearer under new rules being announced by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

It claims the rules will “shed light and provide more disclosure” on a wide range of lobbying activities.

In a unanimous, 5-0 vote, the bi-partisan, non-partisan commission approved a regulation requiring more disclosure under a catch-all category known as “other payments to influence.” It is a category of lobbying that has not only seen a significant increase in use, but also in the amount of money spent in the previously undisclosed category.

“There are two main goals behind the regulation: to increase transparency and promote compliance,” says FPPC Chairman Jodi Remke. “As for transparency, the public is entitled to know who is trying to influence public officials and how they are doing it. As for compliance, lobbying is largely a self-regulated industry and requiring more detailed reporting is the most effective tool to promote compliance and facilitate enforcement against improper activity.”

In essence, the regulation will require lobbyist-employers to now provide a more itemized breakdown under “other payments to influence,” providing the public more information on items such as money spent on advertising, or public affairs, or the hiring of consultants.

“The people of California deserve to see this vital information and the added disclosure will help strengthen our electoral process,” she says.