FPPC moves to increase disclosure of top donors and stop dark money

For immediate release: 09/17/2015



FPPC moves to increase disclosure of top donors and stop dark money    

Contact: Jay Wierenga , (916) 322-7761


The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) today approved changes  which will provide even more information for voters on the Commission’s popular ‘Top 10 Contributor’s’ list as well as making sure out of state PAC’s and major donors can’t hide “dark money”.

The Commission voted to expand a disclosure requirement on its Top 10 Contributor’s List to require certain committees on that list to also reveal their top two contributors, in essence opening up another layer of exposure to show voters who is really funding campaigns. The change in regulation 18422.5 will provide information to the public on committees that often have generic names which don’t reveal their true donors. For example, if a state general purpose committee with a bland and uninformative name such as “Good Government California” is listed as a top contributor to a ballot measure or independent expenditure committee, the two top donors to “Good Government California” will now also have to be listed. 

“The public is frustrated by people and groups hiding behind generic committee names that fail to disclose their true sources of funding,” said FPPC Chair Jodi Remke. “This is another step towards the type of smart disclosure we are constantly seeking at the Commission.”

The FPPC created the Top 10 list last year to provide a more concise report to show voters who is funding major campaigns. It shows the top contributors to committees primarily formed to support or oppose a state ballot measure or to make independent expenditures on a state candidate. This change now adds the top two donors over $50,000 to any contributing recipient committee identified in their top 10 reports.

Another change approved today by the Commission will also help clarify that so-called “dark money” is not permitted in California elections. The amendment to regulation 18422 strengthens the language to assure no multipurpose organization contributes to a federal PAC for expenditures on a California ballot measure or state candidate without full disclosure of the true source of money to the organization.

“I am extremely pleased my fellow Commissioners voted to approve this change,” said Chair Remke. “The
Commission will be vigilant in defending the public’s right to know the true source of funding in any campaign. Between continued diligent enforcement of our laws and full, proper disclosure I hope it helps the public make informed decisions and restore their faith in government.”