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AB-1217 Political Reform Act of 1974: electioneering and issue lobbying communications: disclosures.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known and may be cited as the Issue Ad DISCLOSE Act.

SEC. 2.

 Article 6 (commencing with Section 84551) is added to Chapter 4 of Title 9 of the Government Code, to read:

Article  6. Disclosure in Electioneering and Issue Lobbying Communications
84551.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) (1) “Electioneering communication” means any general or public communication that clearly identifies a candidate for elective state office, but does not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of the candidate, and that is disseminated, broadcast, distributed, or published during the period beginning 45 days before an election.
(2) “Electioneering communication” does not include any of the following:
(A) An “issue lobbying communication,” as defined in subdivision (b).
(B) An “advertisement,” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 84501.
(C) A communication made by a candidate or candidate controlled committee.
(D) A communication from an organization, other than a political party, to its members.
(E) An organization’s regularly published newsletter or periodical.
(F) An electronic media communication from an organization to persons who have opted in or asked to receive messages from the organization, including email messages or text messages. This subparagraph does not apply to a customer who has opted in to receive communications from a provider of goods or services, unless the customer has provided express approval to receive political messages from that provider of goods or services.
(G) A communication that clearly identifies a candidate for elective state office for purposes of featuring the candidate’s endorsement, support, or opposition to another candidate or ballot measure.
(H) A communication directed to voters or potential voters as part of voter registration activities or activities encouraging or assisting persons to vote.
(I) A news story, commentary, or an editorial communicated by any broadcasting station, including a cable television operator programmer or producer, website, or regularly published newspaper, magazine, or other periodical of general circulation, including any internet or electronic publication, that routinely carries news and commentary of general interest.
(J) A communication paid for or disseminated by a government agency.
(K) Wearing apparel, sky writing, small promotional items such as buttons, pins, key chains, and any other type of communication for which inclusion of the disclosures required by Section 84552 would be impracticable or would interfere with a person’s ability to convey the intended message.
(L) A communication soliciting a behested payment for charitable, legislative, or governmental purposes as defined in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 82004.5.
(M) Any other similar communication determined by regulations adopted by the Commission.
(b) (1) “Issue lobbying communication” means any public communication that clearly refers to and reflects a view on the subject matter, description, or name of one or more clearly identified pending state legislative or administrative actions, and does any of the following:
(A) Solicits or urges other persons to communicate directly with an elected state officer or state official for purposes of attempting to influence state legislative or administrative action.
(B) Can only be reasonably interpreted as an appeal for an elected state officer or state official to take state legislative or administrative action.
(C) Refers to a state legislative action and is disseminated, broadcast, or otherwise communicated during the period beginning 60 days before the end of the legislative session.
(2) “Issue lobbying communication” does not include any of the following:
(A) An “electioneering communication,” as defined in subdivision (a).
(B) An “advertisement,” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 84501.
(C) A communication made by a candidate or candidate controlled committee.
(D) A communication from an organization, other than a political party, to its members.
(E) An organization’s regularly published newsletter or periodical.
(F) An electronic media communication from an organization to persons who have opted in or asked to receive messages from the organization, including email messages or text messages. This subparagraph does not apply to a customer who has opted in to receive communications from a provider of goods or services, unless the customer has provided express approval to receive political messages from that provider of goods or services.
(G) A communication that clearly identifies a candidate for elective state office for purposes of featuring the candidate’s endorsement, support, or opposition to another candidate or ballot measure.
(H) A communication directed to voters or potential voters as part of voter registration activities or activities encouraging or assisting persons to vote.
(I) A news story, commentary, or an editorial communicated by any broadcasting station, including a cable television operator programmer or producer, website, or regularly published newspaper, magazine, or other periodical of general circulation, including any internet or electronic publication, that routinely carries news and commentary of general interest.
(J) A communication paid for or disseminated by a government agency.
(K) Wearing apparel, sky writing, small promotional items such as buttons, pins, key chains, and any other type of communication for which inclusion of the disclosures required by Section 84556 would be impracticable or would interfere with a person’s ability to convey the intended message.
(L) A communication soliciting a behested payment for charitable, legislative, or governmental purposes as defined in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 82004.5.
(M) Any other similar communication determined by regulations adopted by the Commission.
84552.
 (a) A person who makes payments for electioneering communications totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more in a calendar year shall include the words “Ad paid for by” on the electioneering communication, followed by the name of the person paying for the communication.
(b) An electioneering communication shall include the name of the persons who have made the three highest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more to the person paying for the electioneering communication, preceded by the words “Major funding from.” For purposes of determining the persons who made the three highest cumulative payments, the person paying for the electioneering communication shall include payments received for purposes of funding electioneering communications during the period beginning 12 months before and ending seven days before the communication is sent to the printer, broadcaster, or other entity responsible for distribution of the communication. If a payment was earmarked for electioneering communications, the person who earmarked the payment shall be considered to be the person making the payment.
(c) The requirement to include the disclosures specified in this section is met if the disclosures comply with the specifications set forth in Sections 84504 to 84504.6, inclusive, for the applicable communication medium.
84553.
 A person shall not make a payment for electioneering communications on behalf of another, or while acting as the intermediary or agent of another, without disclosing to the recipient of the payment the person’s own full name and street address, occupation, and the name of the person’s employer, if any, or the person’s principal place of business if the person is self-employed, and the full name and street address, occupation, and the name of the employer, if any, or principal place of business if self-employed, of the other person. The recipient of the payment shall use this earmarking information when calculating who made the three highest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) pursuant to Section 84552 and shall include this information when any of the earmarked funds are given to another person.
84554.
 (a) A person shall not make any payment to a person that is earmarked for electioneering communications regarding a clearly identified state candidate, unless the payment is fully disclosed pursuant to Section 84553.
(b) For purposes of subdivision (a), a payment is earmarked if it is made under any of the following circumstances:
(1) The person receiving the payment solicited the payment for the purpose of electioneering communications, requested the payer to expressly consent to such use, and the payer consents to such use.
(2) The payment was made subject to a condition or agreement with the payer that all or a portion of the payment would be used for the purpose of electioneering communications.
(3) After the payment was made, the payer and the person receiving the payment reached a subsequent agreement that all or a portion of the payment would be used for the purpose of electioneering communications.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), dues, assessments, fees, and similar payments made to a membership organization or its sponsored committee in an amount less than five hundred dollars ($500) per calendar year from a single source for the purpose of making payments or expenditures shall not be considered earmarked.
(d) The person making the earmarked payment shall provide the person receiving the payment with the name and address of the person or persons who earmarked their funds and the amount of the earmarked payment from each person at the time it makes the payment. If the person making the payment received earmarked payments that exceed the amount paid, or received payments that were not earmarked, the person making the payment shall use a reasonable accounting method to determine which persons to identify pursuant to this subdivision, but in no case shall the same payment be disclosed more than one time to avoid disclosure of additional persons who earmarked their funds.
(e) A violation of this section shall not be based solely on the timing of payments made or received.
84555.
 A person who has made payments or promises of payments totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more in a calendar year for electioneering communications shall maintain records of the following:
(a) All payments made for electioneering communications.
(b) The payments and any earmarking used to calculate the names of the persons who made the three highest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more to the person paying for each electioneering communication.
84556.
 (a) A person who makes payments for issue lobbying communications totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more in a calendar year shall include the words “Ad paid for by” on the issue lobbying communication, followed by the name of the person paying for the communication. The amount of an issue lobbying communication shall include actual costs attributable to the communication, but shall not include the payment of salary, reimbursement for personal expenses, or other compensation paid by an employer to an employee who spends 10 percent or less of the employee’s compensated time during a calendar month in connection with activities related to issue lobbying communications.
(b) An issue lobbying communication shall include the name of the persons who have made the three highest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more to the person paying for the issue lobbying communication, preceded by the words “Major funding from.” For purposes of determining the persons who made the three highest cumulative payments, the person paying for the issue lobbying communication shall include payments received for purposes of funding issue lobbying communications, or lobbying regarding the topic of the state legislative or administrative action, during the period beginning 12 months before and ending seven days before the communication is sent to the printer, broadcaster, or other entity responsible for distribution of the communication. Only payments received for the purpose of advocating on a specified issue shall be included in this determination, including payments made to support advocacy on a general topic. If a payment was earmarked for issue lobbying communications, the person who earmarked the payment shall be considered to be the person making the payment.
(c) The requirement to include the disclosures specified in this section is met if the disclosures comply with the specifications set forth in Sections 84504 to 84504.6, inclusive, for the applicable communication medium.
84557.
 A person shall not make a payment for issue lobbying communications, or lobbying regarding a clearly identified state legislative or administrative action on behalf of another, or while acting as the intermediary or agent of another, without disclosing to the recipient of the payment the person’s own full name and street address, occupation, and the name of the person’s employer, if any, or the person’s principal place of business if the person is self-employed, and the full name and street address, occupation, and the name of employer, if any, or principal place of business if self-employed, of the other person. The recipient of the payment shall use this earmarking information when calculating who made the three highest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to be disclosed on the issue lobbying communication in Section 84556 and shall include this information when any of the earmarked funds are given to another person.
84558.
 (a) A person shall not make any payment to a person that is earmarked for issue lobbying communications, or lobbying regarding a clearly identified pending state legislative or administrative action, unless the payment is fully disclosed pursuant to Section 84557.
(b) For purposes of subdivision (a), a payment is earmarked if it is made under any of the following circumstances:
(1) The person receiving the payment solicited the payment for the purpose of issue lobbying communications or lobbying regarding a specific state legislative or administrative action, requested the payer to expressly consent to such use, and the payer consents to such use.
(2) The payment was made subject to a condition or agreement with the payer that all or a portion of the payment would be used for the purpose of issue lobbying communications or lobbying regarding a specific state legislative or administrative action.
(3) After the payment was made, the payer and the person receiving the payment reached a subsequent agreement that all or a portion of the payment would be used for the purpose of issue lobbying communications or lobbying regarding a specific state legislative or administrative action.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), dues, assessments, fees, and similar payments made to a membership organization or its sponsored committee in an amount less than five hundred dollars ($500) per calendar year from a single source for the purpose of making payments or expenditures shall not be considered earmarked.
(d) The person making the earmarked payment shall provide the person receiving the payment with the name and address of the person or persons who earmarked their funds and the amount of the earmarked payment from each person at the time it makes the payment. If the person making the payment received earmarked payments that exceed the amount paid, or received payments that were not earmarked, the person making the payment shall use a reasonable accounting method to determine which persons to identify pursuant to this subdivision, but in no case shall the same payment be disclosed more than one time to avoid disclosure of additional persons who earmarked their funds.
(e) A violation of this section shall not be based solely on the timing of payments made or received.
84559.
 A person who has made payments or promises of payments totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more in a calendar year for issue lobbying communications shall maintain records of the following:
(a) All payments made for issue lobbying communications.
(b) The payments and any earmarking used to calculate the names of the persons who made the three highest cumulative payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more to the person paying for each issue lobbying communication.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SEC. 4.
 The Legislature finds and declares that this bill furthers the purposes of the Political Reform Act of 1974 within the meaning of subdivision (a) of Section 81012 of the Government Code.
SEC. 5.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to protect the integrity of California’s legislative, administrative, and electoral processes by ensuring that recipients of electioneering and issue lobbying communications know who is paying for the communication, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.