Dalla California: il parlamento dello Stato impone trasparenza sulle fonti finanziarie anche ai grup
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Lobbying: Assembly passes Wolk astroturf lobbying reform billCalifornia ChronicleMay 31, 2006
Measure to disclose lobbyist funding sources moves to Senate with bipartisan support.
SACRAMENTO. Legislation by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to require public disclosure of the funding sources behind fake grassroots lobbying campaigns passed off the Assembly Floor today on a 55-7 bipartisan vote. Assembly Bill 2974 requires disclosure of funding sources behind astroturf lobbying efforts, professional media campaigns designed to influence public policy decisions by state elected officials through mass media, mail, phone calls, newspaper ads and other organized public relations campaigns.
"My bill would expose the financial backing behind astroturf lobbying campaigns, which are a clever way of manipulating legislation while avoiding lobbying reporting requirements," said Wolk. "The bill does not restrict genuine grassroots activity. It doesn't restrict first amendment rights. It only increases public disclosure."
Astroturf lobbying tries to disguise lobby efforts by stimulating fake grassroots movements or using front groups. Under current law, these efforts do not currently trigger reporting requirements that apply to more traditional lobbying activities that must be disclosed, and neither the public nor the press can find out who is behind these campaigns. The bill applies to lobbying state government, not local government.
"By requiring disclosure of astroturf lobbying activity, the practice of professionally stimulating or simulating popular support or opposition to legislation, this bill provides the public a more complete picture of the various interests helping shape the legislative process," wrote Kathay Feng, Executive Director of the bill's sponsor, California Common Cause. "AB 2974 does not limit astroturf lobbying activity, it merely expands existing disclosure requirements to capture such lobbying activity."
Although Republican Assembly Member Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta) spoke against the measure, only seven Republicans answered his call to vote no.
AB 2974, which is also supported by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, now moves to the State Senate.